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Zhe "IReb & Wbtte" Book of Menkes. 

Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2012 with funding from 

National Library of Scotland 

D. P. Menzies, F.S.A. Scot. 
By Permission, from a Photograph by Alexander Brothers, Renfield Street, Glasgow. 


Z\]& 'Keo Ano (Xlhice" 

Book of 2f)<3NZ|es! 

1bistot£ of Clan flfeen3ies anfc 
its Chiefs. 

B^ 2). p. flDen3ie0, tf.S.a. Scot. 

27tb ©ctobet 1894. 

ffianfes & Co., printers, Eoinburgb ano ©lasgow. 

Book of 2T)eNZies 

le^bl-jA-p ^e-Aps us o e ^\ n- v 2J)Ginep|cli . 

Toilleadh Dia c s ni wise e. 

5s Most IRespectfuUB Deofcateo to 

"ffbe Chief" Sit IRobett flfoen3tes, 

Seventh Baronet of tbat Jlfc, 

"Gbe flDeit3ies," 

©n tbc occasion of bis Jubilee, SOtb gear Cbicf of Clan /Beiyfes, ana 
3nbcritov of tbc Estates of dbetijics, 16tb Hug. 1894. 

3Bb D. p. /Iften3fes, jp.S.H. Scot. 

Jnttobuctton anb preface. 

«♦ • < » ► ♦' 

/^■^HE history of the Menzies', as regards the early ages of the race, 
£ \ has been preserved in the records of the old Scottish historians, and 
^•^ their ancient high position graphically indicated by Fordoun, Boece, 
Holinshead, Winton, and Buchanan ; but we are indebted most of all 
to the collection of ancient Latin writings and records, formed by Dempster and 
Mackenzie, of the early Scottish writers and Christian fathers of the Celtic 
church, many of whom have been claimed as saints by the Church of Rome. 
From these Latin records much light has been shed on the individual members 
of the line, who distinguished themselves by their enthusiastic zeal for the 
spread of the gospel of Christ and their love of learning, and who by their 
writings have perpetuated the name of Menzies. It was this love of letters 
and of his fellow-men which induced the 15th of the line, Mensuteus, to found 
in the first century the ancient college of (Tulli) Dull, which he named after his 
brother "St Clement's College." His brother and fellow-labourer also founded 
a church at Dull {Tulli), and named it after him "THE CHURCH OF METENSES." 
These institutions flourished down to the time of King Robert the Bruce, when they 
were transferred to St Andrews. Among the numerous learned men who emanated 
from these establishments were many of the direct descendants of the founder, by 
whom the knowledge and learning of their forefathers, with their arts and letters, 
were religiously preserved down to the time of Lord Robert the Menzies, Lord 
High Chamberlain of Scotland in the reigns of Alexander II. and III., an office 
only held by a blood relation of the king. The national records of the time show 
him to be a man of high and learned culture. Indeed, the whole affairs of Scotland 


during these reigns were under his control : Kings Alexander II. and III., having 
confidence in his knowledge of letters, entrusted him with the record organisation 
of the kingdom. These records were drawn up to his dictation, or under his 
supervision, before being presented to the king for signature, thereafter his own was 
appended ; in this way his name is to be found on almost all the charters and national 
documents of the period. It was therefore under his guidance that Scotland began 
her system of Crown records, for of no previous reign are there documents so 
numerous or to compare with those of Alexander II. and III. This shows 
him to have been a man, not only of learning and letters, but also a man of 
wisdom,- prudence, and sound political judgment. The religious tendency of his 
race is also brought out in the many grants of privileges bestowed through his 
influence on the various churches over Scotland during these reigns, as shown by 
charters extant, to which his name, with those of Alexander II. and III., is 
attached. Indeed, to his counsel may be ascribed the good government and 
the rapid progress Scotland made in letters, commerce, and the arts during 
these reigns. 

It is very remarkable the numerous and different ways the name of Menzies has 
been spelt during a period of over two thousand years, and still they all can easily 
be recognised as being the one name. By three of our ancient Scottish historians, 
who wrote the life of the first Menzies, we find the name spelt differently by each — 
MAYNUS, MANRE, MAINUS. These are very near the present singular Gaelic 
pronunciation, the differences in spelling being caused by the accent in the 
locality to which the writer belonged. 

In the early ages of the race the want of the Christian name caused the writers 
of those times to spell each name in a different way, so as to distinguish between the 
different descendants, members of the same family or race, and still sufficiently like 
the first Menzies to be recognisable, as in the case of the fourteenth of the line 
(MAINUS), whose Latin name is Meiellanus or Metellane. Take out the syllable tell, 
inserted to make the difference between hfc'and the first Menzies (MAINUS), and we 
have MEANUS, almost the same as the first. According to the Gaelic authorities, 
the meaning of the name comes from the " majestic and kingly bearing " of the 
progenitors of the race, doubtless of the first to the fourteenth of the line, who 
ruled over the ancient Scots. Meinn, in Gaelic, means "majestic expression ;" hence 


the Gaelic phrase Ciar mordha a Mheinn — " how majestic his countenance " — clearly 
showing by their Gaelic name their royal origin, the kingly office being held 
from the first to the fourteenth Menzies {Metellanus) ; but with him observe the 
insertion of the syllable tell, which gives the name in his case a combined meaning in 
its Latin form of the kingly with that of metals. In Gaelic, Meinn-al means flexible 
metals, such as gold, and Mein-ad-ar' means mineralogist, student of ores, or miner. 
He must have been engaged in superintending the gold and silver mines of his 
kingdom at the time when the messenger of Caesar Augustus paid his visit to him 
at his court in the west part of the Appin-na-Meinerich, or the Vale of Menzies, 
near Fortingall. According to Boece, " Strabbo " gives his name as Melellane, 
being very near the present Latin word Metallum, meaning gold or silver. It is 
obvious that the insertion of the tell was to indicate his being the first of the 
kingly house who vigorously encouraged his kith and kin in the arts of mining 
the gold, silver, copper, lead, &c., of his Highland kingdom of Scota. This is 
confirmed by ancient traditions, still told over the ancient and present lands 
and country of the Menzies', "that their great ancestors and forefathers owned 
and wrought the gold and silver mines," remains of which are still to be seen 
in various parts of their old possessions. 

The spelling of the name of the fifteenth Menzies (Mansuteus) seems not 
only to have been altered for the sake of a distinguishing difference, but also 
to convey by the name the meaning that he was a preacher or churchman — 
Mansuteus (in Gaelic, Mannacli), meaning churchman, scholar, monk. He, as 
will be seen from the text, was the founder of the College of Dull (Tulli), and 
doubtless the knowledge of the metallic arts was also taught there. In this 
way we find, in the absence of Christian names, an alteration in the spelling 
of each name sufficiently different from that of his predecessor to mark his 
period, and in some instances to indicate what he was. From the time of the 
fifteenth their names partake in meaning with the scholastic and religious order, 
but still preserving sufficient likeness to each other to be easily traced as the 
descendants of Maynus, Metellanus, and Mansuteus. 

We find that between A.D. 69 to 234 the letter principally inserted for a 

distinguishing difference was D ; from 225 to 300 the letter L ; from 300 to 440 

R and T; from 400 to 480 L, H,and R; from 459 to 590 the letter D came into use 



again ; from 579 to 664 V and O ; from 621 to 738 the letters N, n, O, and L ; from 
737 to 930 the letters R, N, U were inserted at different points to produce a 
difference ; from 887 to 960 C, R, and Y ; again, from 899 to 1037, they inserted the 
U, D, and R ; 1043 to 11 32 the Y came into use again ; and when Anketillus the 
39th in descent was born, about 11 20, we find, although he had a Christian name, 
no fixed rule was adopted in the spelling of the surname. In his time the letters 
Y, O, and R were inserted, as in " Maynores " ; delete the OR and we have Maynes, 
almost the same as that of his great ancestor Maynus. In the time of his son Lord 
Robert Menzies, the Lord High Chamberlain of Scotland, we find the name, as found 
in records of his time, spelt in at least twenty-one different ways (see index table 
40th Menzies). It was considered a mark of great learning to be able to spell a 
name in a great many ways and still to be recognised as one and the same name. 
The numerous national records to which his name is attached have enabled us to 
bring this out most prominently. It was in his time that we find the letter G first 
used, and the name spelt so near the present Scottish, and proper, pronunciation 
" Mengyeis " or " Mengies " ; this, in the characters of the Celtic alphabet, would 

appear ( lt)eN5^e1S, ^QN^&S, th e Celtic g g being mistaken 

by scribes for a Z witn a ta 'l \ * n tms wa y tne P resent corrupt spelling 
of Meingeis — Menzies — came into use, and finally became a fixed rule about 
the middle of last century. But the name, although spelt Menzies, is pronounced 
" Mengyeis " or Meingeis, which is the proper way, not as now spelt and 
pronounced by the English and others ignorant of its proper accentuation. The 
grating sound of the Z is foreign to the name and should not at all be sounded, 
but instead of Z the letters GE. The name as spoken in Perthshire, its native 
county, is very musical, bringing in some nice inflections of the voice. The 
Gaelic plural spelling of the name is Meinerich, of which there are several other 
ways. The ancient signatures of the chiefs seem to be old Gaelic forms of 
its spelling, such as Meinrs, Meniers, &c, as given in the records during the 
times of the Lord High Chamberlain — Meniers, and in the time of Earl Menzies 
— Meiners, Metiers, &c, all indicating the singular Gaelic spelling of the name ; 
the Chief being, in Latin, de Meiners; in Gaelic, Na Meinerich; in British,, 
" The Menzies." 


From Maynus (the first Menzies) to the time of Menyne, ' Cryiiytie,' ' Grimus,' 
Abthane of Dull (the 34th Menzies) — who married Beatrice, the daughter of King 
Malcolm II. — the high standing of the race seems to have been maintained, 
not only as men of letters but also as chiefs of a family or clan who held large 
possessions in ancient Scotia. The title given to Menyne implies that he was 
Thane, Chief, Abbot, Father or Teacher, consequently Chief and Father of the 
Clan. By his marriage with the daughter of Malcolm II., of their issue Duncan I. 
held the throne of Scotland ; the others became embodied in the clan, holdine 
their possessions down till the usurpation of the crown of Scotland by Macbeth, 
by whom the 37th Maianus and his son Mengeis were for a time driven out of the 
country. Till that period they chiefly appear as men of the Celtic Christian Church, 
College and School ; but on the return of King Malcolm Canmore, assisted by 
Macduff, they drew their swords as patriots in their country's need, and fought like 
true warriors for her freedom at Birnam, where the usurper was slain. For their 
heroic conduct on that occasion their name is inscribed on the roll of those who 
were made the first barons of land in Scotland ('1057' or '1061'); and from that 
time they held high place at court during the reigns of Edgar, Alexander I., 
David I., Malcolm IV., William the Lion, and Alexander II. and III., where their 
royal connection, descending from Menyne and Beatrice, gave them the next place 
to the king (Lord High Chamberlains of Scotland) in the times of Alexander II. 
and III. Their high rank was acknowledged by Henry III. of England in the 
minority of Alexander III., and again by Edward I. during his attempted subjec- 
tion of Scotland, in which struggle they strenuously supported Wallace in his noble 
efforts to free Scotland ; and on King Robert the Bruce becoming the champion 
of her liberties, the chiefs and chieftains of the Menzies' led on the clan in every 
fray, combat and battle of that great and glorious struggle which was crowned 
with immortal glory at the battle of Bannockburn, where the Clan and their Chief 
Sir Alexander Menzies so greatly distinguished themselves that the poet-historian 
Barbour refers to them in the following lines : — 

" Ry' as golmakmorn was wone ! 
To haiff fra h" all his Mengne, 
Ry l swa all his fra ws has he." 

— MS. Bibl. Faclt. Jurid. 19. 2. 2. f. vii. b. I. 33. 
The Costume of the Clans, intro. p. vii. 

A 2 


The meaning of these lines will be better understood when given in modern 
British, as near as possible to Barbour's reference to the Chief and Clan Menzies, 
as follows : — 

" Right (freedom) on that glorious morn (of Bannockburn) was won ! 
And half the glory of that fray is due to he and all his Mengne['s] 
For, right through that battle with us, was he and they." 

This is fully borne out by other historical records, traditions, &c, given in this 
work, and also by the seal of Sir Thomas Menzies, second son of the chief, attached 
to the letter of the Scottish Barons to the Pope a few years after (1320), wherein 
he and they declare that " so long as any two of them remain alive they will 
continue to fight for the freedom of Scotland." Only one Menzies seal remains to 
this document, but doubtless the seals of the Chief Sir Alexander and his other 
two sons, Sir Robert and Sir Alexander Menzies, were also attached. But much 
additional light might have been thrown on those times had not "The Menzies 
Red Book of Glenlyon " perished in the fire which almost destroyed the ancient 
fortalice of the Menzies' — Meggernie Castle, in Glenlyon — last century. 

Many are the transactions of the nation in which the Chiefs of Menzies bore 
a leading part. In the first of Scottish Parliaments we find their names on the 
Rolls, of which many extracts are given in this work, and throughout the whole 
field of the Scottish National Records we have many entries relating to the 
Menzies'. These have been carefully embodied in their proper place throughout 
this history. The muniments of the Chief Sir Robert Menzies, the 7th Baronet, 
have also been given and interwoven in the work in their historical place, con- 
sisting of charters, letters from Queen Mary, Charles II., the great Montrose, 
and other members of the royal family and nobility of Scotland, as given in the 
Government Blue Book. Indeed, every source has been tapped so as to make 
the work as near perfection as possible. These, with the traditions handed down 
from one generation to another in the family of the author, and of which many 
have been verified by the records, combine to make the work as exhaustive 
as possible. 

This work does not, however, do more than simply refer to the branches of 
the clan, who were both numerous and powerful, such as the Menzies' of Pitfodels, 
the records relating to whom are very numerous, and if their history were written 


it would make a very large and nationally interesting work. We have only 
referred to them briefly as men of note, and indicated the point at which they 
sprung from the main family. Then there are the Menzies' of Durisdeer and 
Enouch, the Menzies' of Culdares, the Menzies' of Bolfracks, the Menzies' of 
Shian, the Menzies' of Rotmell, the Menzies' of Kinmundie, the Menzies' of 
Gledstanes, and others, all of whom have splendid histories. If they were only 
compiled they would show the great power the clan had before the Reformation 
and down to the '45, in which rebellion they suffered so much that they have 
never recovered their possessions nor their numerical power. 

To the Chief Sir Robert Menzies, 7th Baronet of Menzies, I beg to tender 
my sincere thanks for the free access he gave me to Castle Menzies. Specially 
with regard to the Queen Mary tapestries, her portrait, cabinet, and settee, and 
also the whole line of family portraits. Some of these subjects, through the effects 
of age, were such that I had to photograph them seven times before results could 
be had sufficiently satisfactory for reproduction. 

Scotland, and the Assistant Secretary, Dr Joseph Anderson, F.S.A. Scot., 
for many of the half-tone illustrations given in the text. 

To Stair Agnew, Esq., C.B., Keeper of the National Historical Records of 
Scotland and Registrar-General at the Register House, Edinburgh, the Curator 
and Assistant Curator for valuable information, suggestions and ready access to 
records, my best thanks are due ; and the many acts of courtesy and attention 
extended to me in searching the Parish Records by Mr WINTER and Mr 
MACGREGOR in prosecuting these researches, call for a like acknowledgment. 

To James Colquhoun, Esq., LL.D., and to his brother, David T. 
COLQUHOUN, Esq., my best thanks are due for the ready assistance they at all 
times rendered, and, at considerable trouble to themselves, procured for me 
access to, and the use of, many rare and valuable records, including those of 

Dr Colquhoun himself. 

To the MITCHELL Library Collection of Government Record Publications 
(which is the most complete I know of outside the Record House, Edinburgh), 
I am much indebted. To these access at all times was cheerfully granted by 
Mr F. T. BARRET, the librarian. His courtesy, with the obliging and prompt 


attention given by Mr J. INGRAM, sub-librarian, and Mr BARRET, Jim., as also 
by the whole staff of assistants, calls for my warmest recognition. "The Students' 
Room " is also a convenience which other libraries would do well to provide. 

To Andrew Ross, Esq., S.S.C, F.S.A. Scot., Marchmont Herald, I am 
indebted for much information connected with the armorial bearings of the 
Menzies' of Menzies and the other branch families, whose armorial bearings 
are recorded in the Records of the Lyon King. His kind, courteous, and 
obliging manner at all times richly deserves my sincere thanks. 

To Walter MENZIES, Esq., J.P., East Park, Rutherglen, the first subscriber to 
the " Red and White " Book of Menzies, who, by his liberal support at the outset, 
greatly tended to the publication of the work ; and to W. D. Graham-Menzies, 
Esq., J. P., of Hallyburton and Pitcur, and his family, the largest subscribers, who 
promptly supported the undertaking, as also did Colonel DUNCAN MENZIES, J.P. 
(of the Sutherland Highlanders), Westwood, Inverness, the third largest subscriber, 
my best thanks are tendered. 

In conclusion, I sincerely thank all who have in any way assisted me in, or 
subscribed to, the work. By their aid it has become an accomplished production, 
to which the author was inspired by the many noble tales, traditions, and stories 
told him when a boy by his father and aunts, of the Menzies chiefs and ancestors 
of yore, from whom they traced their descent. This oral history was such that 
none of the historical accounts of the name published were satisfactory, and 
ultimately led to a thorough search and investigation of the national and other 
public and private records, of which every entry, charter, letter, or reference to, 
and connected with, the Menzies' of Menzies, with the whole of the documents 
in the- charter-room of Castle Menzies, given in the Government Blue Book, are 
embodied verbatim in the work, which has been an active labour of love for the 
last seven years. 


257 St Vincent Street, 
Glasgow, 27M October 1894. 

^able of Contents 


3noey to "Gbe dbicfs of tbe fH>en3ies\" 


ist Menzies — Maynus, Mains, Manre, 3 (b.c. 300 to a.d. 29); References, 
36. 473> 474, 

2ND Menzies — Dorvidilla (b.c. 300 to a.d. 29) 

3RD Menzies — Nathak 

4.TH Menzies — Rewthar 

5TH Menzies — Thereus 

6th Menzies — Josyne 

7TH Menzies — Fynnane 

8th Menzies — Durstus 

9TH Menzies — Ewin I. 
ioth Menzies — Gillus 
iith Menzies — Ewin II. 
12TH Menzies — Edeir 
13TH Menzies — Ewing III. 
14TH Menzies — Mainus, Metellane (b.c. 
15TH Menzies — Mensuteus, Mansuteus (a.: 
i6th Menzies — Maynus, Medanus (a.d. 69-150), 
17TH Menzies — Medani (a.d. 145-234), 
1 8th Menzies — Meanius (a.d. 225-300), 
19TH Menzies — Menna (a.d. 270-361), 
20TH Menzies — Meinaus (a.d. 300-369), 

Life Chapter. 

D. IO-89) 

3 to a.d. 29) ; References, 3, 6, 

Reference, 112, 

4 to 6 
6 and 7 


21ST Menzies — Menrus (a.d. 357-440), 

2 2nd Menzies — Menacus (a.d. 400-463), . 

23RD Menzies — Meinus (a.d. 430-480); Reference, 496, 

24TH Menzies — Mianus (a.d. 459-538), 

25TH Menzies — Menaus (a.d. 498-586), . 

26TH Menzies — Meinus (a.d. 520-590), 

27TH Menzies — Meanus (a.d. 579-664), . 

28TH Menzies — Maninus, Meinus (a.d. 621-700), 

29TH Menzies — Mennis (a.d. 679-738), 

30TH Menzies — Mannerrus (a.d. 737-829), 

3 1ST Menzies — Menrus Rabanus (a.d. 788-856), 

32ND Menzies — Mennanus (a.d. 800-878), 

33RD Menzies — Mainus (a.d. 857-930); Reference, 112, 

34TH Menzies — Menyne (a.d. 887-960) ; References, 396, 397, 

35TH Menzies — Menus (a.d. 899-962), 

36TH Menzies — Meanus (a.d. 958-1037), . 

37TH Menzies — Maianus, Mainus, or Marianus (a.d. 1 008-1087). 

38TH Menzies — Menyeis, Mengeis, 1st Baron of Menzies (a.d. 1043-1132), 

39TH Menzies — Anketillus Menyeis, Maynores, 2nd Baron of Menzies (a.d. 1120 
1 190); References, 20, 450, 460, ....... 

40TH Menzies — Lord Robert, Lord High Chamberlain of Scotland (a.d. 1177 
1266), Mengyies, Mengyes, Meynrs, Meiyners, Meyners, Meiners. 
Meyniss, Meyneres, Mayneres, Mayners, Meniers, Meyneiss, Manrijs 
Meinerf, Mengys, Meingys, Meyrs, Mesneres, Meyeius, Meyneris. 
Meygneris, 3rd Baron of Menzies ; References, 23, 35, 36, 450, 463, 

41ST Menzies — Earl Alexander (a.d. 1235-1320), Meyners, 35; Meners, 37 
Meiners, Meygners, 41 ; Maynoris, 46 ; Megynes, 47 ; Menygners, 48 
Meinzies, 49; Menyers, 50; Meynis, 56; Meineris, 60; References. 
69, 464 

42ND Menzies — Viscount Lord Robert (a.d. 1267 -1346), Menzeis, 62 
Meygeneris, Meygneres, 65; Meygneris, 66; Meigneres, 66; Meygners. 
69; Meignes, 72; Meygneis, 73; Meigners, 73; Meyhneis, 75 
References, 79, 81-127, I2 9> J 39> • ...... 

43RD Menzies — Sir John the (a.d. 1323-1410), Megyners, 80; Meigners, 82 
Mengners, Meners, and Menzer, 83 ; Menzers, Meignes, Meigneis, 84 
Meygners, 90; References, 91, 93, 98, 464, 496, .... 

44TH Menzies — Sir Robert the (a.d. 1353-1411), Meigners, Meygners, Menzeis. 
91; Meigners, Meingnys, 94; Meyners, 95; Reference, 99, 

Life Chapter 


10 and 1 1 
1 1 
12 and 13 



14 and 15 


15 and 16 


16 and 17 

1 7 and 18 
19 to 21 

and 23 

24 to 34 

35 t0 6l 

62 to 78 

79 to 89 
90 to 98 


Life Chapter. 

45TH Menzies — Sir David (a.d. 1377-1449), 96; Meignes, 101; Menyas, 
Menzies, 103; Meygnes, 104; Meignes, 104; Menyhes, 105; Mayn- 
heis, Meyhes, 106; Mengeis, Menzeis, 107; Meneris, Meniris, 108; 
Mengheis, 109; References, 117, 460, 474, . . . . . . 99 to 115 

46TH Menzies — Sir John (a.d. 1397-1467), 107, 111, 113, 114, 115-122; 
Menzeis, Meigners, 107; Mengues, in; Megnes, Menzhers, Meignes, 
117; Menyheis, 118; References, 124, 125, 135, .... 116 to 123 

47TH Menzies — Sir Angus (a.d. 1430-1498), 122, 124-131 ; Meinzies, Menzeis, 

125 ; Menyeis, 126; Meigneris, 128 ; References, 132, 134, 151, 152, .. 124 to 131 

48TH Menzies — Sir Robert (a.d. 1433-1523), 122; Mezeis, 133; Menzeis,i34; 

Mezes, 136; Meze, 146; Menzes, 156; Reference, 173, . . . 132 to 163 

49TH Menzies — Sir Robert (a.d. 1475-1557), 161; Menzes, 165; Menzeis, 166; 

References, 176, 177, 184, 185, 186, 464, ...... 164 to 174 

50TH Menzies — Sir Alexander (a.d. 1504-1563) (of Rannoch, 168, 170, 172, 
r 73, 175), 189; Menzes, Menyes, 178; Menyeis, 182; References, 
191, 206, . . . . ... . . . . .'. . 176 to 190 

51ST Menzies — James, the (a.d. 1523-1585), 187, 189, 191-227; Meinyeis, 192; 
Menzeis, 198; Meneyze, 201; Meigeis, 206; Menzes, 227; Mezes, ; 
References, 229, 230, 231, 235, 241, ....... 191 to 228 

52ND Menzies — Sir Alexander, the (a.d. 1566-1644), 227, 229-281; Menzes, 
231, 283; Meynzlis, 288; Menzeis, 235; Meinzies, 251; Meinzeis, 
251 ; Meingeis, 258 ; Menzees, 266; Menzes, Meinzes, 274; Meingzies, 
275; Mennzeis, 276; Meanezeis, 283, ...... 22910 281 

53RD Menzies — Sir Duncan (a.d. 1600-1656), 249, 257, 268, 272, 273, 274, 
276, 277, 282-299; Meanezeis, 283; Meingeis, 285; Menzeis, 
Meinzeis, 291; Meingzeis, Menzis, 295; Reference, 300, . . . 282 to 299 

54TH Menzies — Sir Alexander, 1st Baronet (a.d. 1623-1694), 297 ; Meinzies, 
300 ; Meingeis, 302 ; Menzeis, 305 ; Alexander Menzies, Knight, 
Baronet, 308; Menzees, 313, 323, 325, 342, 368, 400, 401, 438, . . 300 to 322 

55TH Menzies — Captain Robert, "Fiar" of Menzies (a.d. 1660-1692), 304, 315, 
3 l6 > 3i7> 3 l8 > 319. 32i ; 323-338, 401 ; Meingeis, 331 ; Meinzies, 332 ; 
References, 339, 340, 345, 368, 372, 373, 400, 401, 438, 439, 
44i> 479, 3 22 to 338 

56TH Menzies — Sir Alexander, 2nd Baronet (a.d. 1682-1709), 338, 339; 

References, 344, 364, 368, 370 ; Meinzies, 339, 339 to 344 

Tutor-Menzies — Captain James, of Comrie, Regent (a.d. 1663 -1748); 
References, 370, 372, 373, 374, 389; Meingeis, 401, 403, 404, 413, 
443. 345 to 369 


57TH Menzies — Sir Robert, 3rd Baronet (a.d. 1 706-1786); References, 343 
345, 346, 355- 3 6 °. 3 6 4, 3 6 5> 3 68 > 403, 4°4, 4°7, 4'4. 418, 43§, 439 
45 1. 464, 

58TH Menzies — Sir John, 4th Baronet (a.d. ^39-1800); References, 365, 366 
368, 401, 413, 414, 439, 

59TH Menzies — Sir Robert, 5th Baronet (a.d. 1745-1813); References, 366 
368, 403, 404, 405, 418, 419, 

6oth Menzies — Sir Neil, 6th Baronet (a.d. 1780-1844) ; References, 366, 368 

417, 43 2 , 433. 434, 43 6 , 44°, 463, 479, 
6ist Menzies — Sir Robert, 7th Baronet; References, 16, 366, 368, 414, 420. 

423, 424, 425, 43°, • .... 

62ND Menzies — Captain Neil James; References, 366, 36S, 436, 449, 455 

465, 469, 47°, 475, ■ 

Menzies, Fletcher Norton, Hereditary Captain of Clan Menzies; References 

13, 366, 368, 423, 424, 425, 427, 428, 431, 432, 440, 449, 465, 470 

47 1 , 472, 476, 477, 

Life Chapter. 

■ 37° ^ 


. 402 to 


■ 413 to 


. 418 to 

43 1 


■ 432 to 



476 and 


The Tartans of Clan Menzies — The Full-dress Menzies Tartan ("Red 
and White"), 479; The Menzies Hunting Tartan, 479; The Black 
and Red Menzies Tartan, 480 ; The Black and White, or Mourning 
Menzies Tartan, 480, . ........ 478 and 479 

Standard Rules for Weaving The Menzies Tartans — In Cheviot Wools, 
480,481; "Red and White," 481; Hunting, 481; Black and Red, 
481 ; Black and White, 481 ; in Fine or Saxony Wools — "Red and 
White" Tartan, 481 ; Hunting, 481 ; Black and Red, 481 ; Black and 
White, 481; Ancient Menzies Tartan, 481, .... 480 and 481 

Arms and Armorial Bearings of Clan Menzies — Menzies' of Menzies, 482, 
483 ; Menzies' of Enouch, 484 ; Menzies' of Rotmell, 484, 485 ; 
Menzies' of Shian, 485 ; Menzies' of Culdares, 486 ; Menzies' of 
Aberdeen, 486, 487 ; Menzies' of Pitfodels, 487 ; Menzies' of Gledstanes 
and Edinburgh, 488 ; Menzies' of Bolfracks and Pitlochie, 488-9, . 4S2 to 489 

Motto of Clan Menzies, 

The War-Cry, or Cath Ghairm, of Clan Menzies, 

The Badges of Clan Menzies, . 

The Banners of Clan Menzies, . 

The Piobaireachd of Clan Menzies, . 

The Pipers to the Chiefs of Clan Menzies, 

The Bards of Clan Menzies, 

Books and Writings by Menzies Authors, 



49°, 49 1 , 492 

492 and 493 

494 and 495 
497, 498, 499, 5°° 

Hist of fnlUpagc flMates. 


I. "The Menzies Altar" in St David Menzies' Auld Kirk o' Weem, . 

II. Ancient Portion of Castle Menzies, Founded 1061, Altered and 
Ornamented 1 5 7 1 ; Approach from East and Weem; showing 
Ancient and Modern Entrances, ....... 

III. Weem Village and Rock of Weem, near Castle Menzies, 

IV. The Menzies Bannockburn Claymore and Bagpipes, 

V. Ancient Menzies Tartan, "Red and White," as worn in the 15th 
Century, ........... 

VI. "The Black and White" Menzies Tartan, or Mourning Tartan, 

VII. The Menzies Falls o' Moness and Birks of Aberfeldy, 

VIII. St David Menzies' Auld Kirk o' Weem, and Burial-Place of the 
Menzies', ........... 

IX. Interior of St David Menzies' Auld Kirk o' Weem, showing the 
Old Cross of Dull, "The Menzies Altar," and Funeral Escutcheons 
of the Chiefs and Baronets of Menzies. Saint David Menzies was 
Rector-Minister of this Kirk in 1431-1440, ..... 

r 5 





Plate Page 

X. "The Menzies Altar," showing Armorial Bearings of deceased Lady 

Menzies', and other Details to front, . . . . . .113 

XI. Loch Rannoch, Perthshire, from Rannoch Lodge, .... 140 

XII. Front View of Castle Menzies, from the South, showing Ancient 

and Modern Wings, . . . . . . . . .144 

XIII. "The Menzies" Queen Mary Bronze Cannon at Castle Menzies, 
used in the Wars of Queen Mary by Clan Menzies; dated 1553, 
with the Escutcheon and Cypher "H.I." of James, Earl of Arran, 
Regent of Scotland. Two Views, . . . . . . .172 

XIV. Full Dress (" The Red and White") Menzies Tartan, . . . 175 

XV. Queen Mary's Cabinet, with her Cypher under the Scottish Arms and 
her Portrait over it; in the Queen Mary Drawing- Room, Castle 
Menzies, ........... 187 

XVI. Queen Mary Tapestry in the Ancient Drawing-Room, Castle Menzies 

— Music, Dancing, and Pageant, . . . . . . .188 

XVII. Old Tapestry in the Queen Mary Drawing-Room, Castle Menzies, . 190 

XVIII. Queen Mary's Settee, in Black Oak, beautifully Carved ; and Portrait 

by Sir J. B. Medina, ..... ... 193 

XIX. Tapestry in Queen Mary's Boudoir, Castle Menzies — Classic Fountain, 

with Children Playing, . . . . . . . . .195 

XX. Ancient Entrance to Castle Menzies, showing Marriage Escutcheon 

of Menzies and Stewart, . . . . . . . .204 

XXI. Castle Menzies (West Wing), showing Ancient Portion to Right, 

Modern to Left, 275 

XXII. North View of Castle Menzies (on which side is the Old Bell, dated 

1600), 282 

XXIII. Castle Menzies and the Vale of Menzies (Appin-na- Meinerich), 
from Weem Rock, showing River Tay and part of the Appin- 
na-Meinerich, . . . . . . . ■ ■ .295 

XXIV. Queen Mary's Bedroom at Castle Menzies, showing Ornamented 

Ceiling, with the Thistle, Rose, Harp, and Fleur-de-Lis, . . 304 


Plate Page 

XXV. Portrait of Junior Chief Captain Robert Menzies, " Fiar : ' of 
Menzies, 55th in Descent, and 18th Baron of Menzies, Lieutenant- 
Governor of Inverlochy Castle and Fort-William, Commander of 
Castle Menzies and Meggernie Castle, Captain of the 1st Indepen- 
dent Company of Highlanders, and founder of the 42nd (The 
Black Watch); b. 1660, d. 1692: from a Painting at Castle 
Menzies by G. Jamesone (?), . . . . . . . 323 

XXVI.. Portrait of Hon. Ann Sandilands, Lady Menzies, Spouse of 
Junior Chief Captain Robert Menzies, " Fiar " of that Ilk, Daughter 
of Walter, 6th Lord Torphichen, and Grand-daughter of William, 
Lord Alexander, His Majesty's Lieutenant of Nova Scotia; B. 26th 
February 1663, d. about 1700 ; from a Painting at Castle Menzies 
by G. Jamesone (?), . . . . . . . . .324 

XXVII. Portrait of Chief Sir Alexander The Menzies, 56th in Descent, 
19th Baron, and 2nd Baronet of Menzies; b. about 1682, d. 1709; 
from a Painting by Sir John B. Medina at Castle Menzies, . . 339 

XXVIII. Portrait of Hon. Christian Campbell, Lady Menzies, Spouse of 
Chief Sir Alexander the Menzies, 2nd Baronet, Daughter of Lord 
Neil Campbell, 2nd son of the Marquis of Argyle ; b. about 1676, 
d. 1730; from a Painting by Sir J. B. Medina at Castle Menzies, . 340 

XXIX. Portrait of Captain James Menzies of Comrie, Chief- Regent 
and Tutor of Menzies, 2nd Son of the 1st Baronet, and Captain 
of Clan Menzies; b. about 1663, d. 1748; from a Painting at 
Castle Menzies by John Scougall (?), . . . . . . 345 

XXX. Comrie Castle, the Ancient Fortress of the Menzies' of Comrie, Built 

on the River Lyon about the 13th Century, .... 346 

XXXI. Portrait of Chief Sir Robert The Menzies, 57th in Descent 
20th Baron of that Ilk, and 3rd Baronet of Menzies; b. 1706. 
d. 1786 ; from a Painting at Castle Menzies by Sir John B. Medina. 
1766, 370 

XXXII. Portrait of Lady Mary Stewart, Lady Menzies, only Daughter 
of James, 3rd Earl of Bute, Spouse of Chief Sir Robert the Menzies, 
3rd Baronet; b. 1713, d. 1773; from a Painting by Sir John B. 
Medina at Castle Menzies, . .'. . . . . .372 

XXXIII. Prince Charlie's Bedroom at Castle Menzies, showing Old Tapestry 

which was there in his time, ....... 389 

XXXIV. Old Banqueting Hall, Castle Menzies, where Queen Mary and 

Prince Charlie Banqueted, ... .... 390 












Portrait of Chief Sir John The Menzies, 58th in Descent, 2 1st Baron 
of that Ilk, and 4th Baronet of Menzies; B. 1750, d. 1800 ; from a 
Painting at Castle Menzies by Sir Wm: Allan, .P.R.S.A., R.A. (?),. . 

Portrait of Lady Charlotte Murray, Daughter of the 4th Duke 
of Athole (Lady Menzies), Spouse of Chief Sir John Menzies, 
4th Baronet of that Ilk; b. 1757, d. 1832; from a Painting by 
Mrs Mee at Castle Menzies, ........ 

Portrait of Chief Sir Robert The Menzies, 59th in Descent, 
the 22nd Baron of that Ilk, and 5th Baronet of Menzies; b. 1745, 
d. 8th March 1813 ; from a Painting by Sir Henry Raeburn, R.S. A., 
at Castle Menzies, .......... 

Portrait of Dame Catherine Ochiltree, Lady Menzies, Spouse 
of Chief Sir Robert Menzies, 5th Baronet of that Ilk ; b. about 
1750, d. 1830; from a Painting by Sir Henry Raeburn, R.S. A., 
at Castle Menzies, ......... 

Portrait of Chief Sir Neil The Menzies, 60th in Descent, 
23rd Baron, and the 6th Baronet of Menzies; b. 1780, d. 1844; 
from a Painting at Castle Menzies by Sir John Watson Gordon, 
.P.R.S.A. and R.A., 

Portrait of Hon. Grace Conyers Charlotte Norton, Lady 
Menzies, Spouse of Chief Sir Neil Menzies, 6th Baronet, eldest 
Daughter of Fletcher Norton, Lord Grantley and Baron of Marken- 
field; b. 1795, d. 1877; from a Painting at Castle Menzies by 
Sir John Watson Gordon, P.R.S.A., R.A., 

The Clan Menzies Guard of Honour to Queen Victoria, on 
the March to receive Her Majesty on her First Visit to the High- 
lands in 1842; from a Picture in the Possession of Mrs John 
Menzies, Edinburgh, ......... 

Portrait of Chief Sir Robert The Menzies, 61st in Descent, 
24th Baron of that Ilk, and 7th Baronet of Menzies ; b. 26th 
Sept. 1 81 7; from the Presentation Portrait Painted by Sir George 
Reid, jP.R.S.A., at Castle Menzies, . . . . 

Hunting Menzies Tartan, "Green and Red," .... 

Portrait of Junior Chief Captain Neil James Menzies of 
Menzies ; by Permission, from a Photograph by J. Edwards, 1 Park- 
side, Hyde Park Corner, S.W., London, ..... 

Portrait of Captain Fletcher N. Menzies (2nd Son of Sir Neil 
Menzies, 6th Bart.), Hereditary Captain of Clan Menzies ; from 
a Photograph by M. Jackson, Perth, ...... 

Clan or " Black and Red " Menzies Tartan, , . . . 









43 2 



Xist of illustrations in the Heyt. 

i. The Quigrich or Crozier of St Fillan, 

2. The Original Crozier-Head of St Fillan, 

3. The Menzies Celtic Bell of Saint Fillan, ..... 

4. Arms of Chief Sir Robert the Menzies, when Junior of Enouch 

Granted 1370, . 

5. The Menzies Crucifix o' the Auld Kirk o' Ceres, 

6. Seal of Chief Sir David the Menzies to his Charter of Lands to 

Melrose Abbey, 1431, ........ 

7. The Menzies Celtic Bell of Fortingall, 

S. Plan of the Ancient Menzies Fort — " Caisteal MacTuthal " — on 
Drummond Hill, ......... 

9. The Balnahanat-Glenlyon Menzies Bell, 

10. The Menzies Celtic Bell of Struan, ...... 

11. Celtic Urn, ........... 

12. Autograph of Sir Alexander Menzies, 1590, 

13. Celtic Axe of Polished Jardete, found on the old Menzies Lands of 

Drummond Hill, 

14. The Seal of the Menzies Canon of Inchaffray, .... 

15. The Menzies Charm Stone, or Clach-na-Cruich, at Fearnan, . 

16. The Menzies Celtic Urn of Glenlyon, ...... 

17. Panel to Commemorate the Visit of King Charles II. to Castle 

Menzies, ........... 

18. The Ancient Celtic Brooch of Menzies, ..... 

19. The Menzies Gold Armlet of Rannoch, 










20. The Comrie Menzies Claymore, of Captain James Menzies of Comrie 

(in Possession of the Author), . . . . . • . 

21. Inscribed Tablet at Rannoch Lodge, . . ... 

22. The Queen Mary Sycamore at Castle Menzies, 

23. The Black Watch Memorial, erected on the Ancient Lands of The 

Menzies at Aberfeldy, . . ... 

24. The Celtic Cross of St David Menzies, which stands in his Well on 

Weem Rock, . . . . . . 

25. The Armorial Bearings of The Chief Menzies of Menzies, Bart., created 

1665; Arms recorded 1734, 

26. „ „ of Menzies of that Ilk, 1061, 

27. „ ,, on the Seal of Sir Thomas Menzies to the 

Letter of the Scottish Barons to the Pope 
in 1320, ....... 

28. „ „ on the Seal of Sir David Menzies to the 

Charter of his Gift of the Lands of Wolfclyde 
in 1341, 

29. „ ,, of the Menzies' of Enouch, 1370, . 

30. „ ,, of the Menzies' of Enouch, 1542, . 

31. „ ,, of the Menzies' of Rotmell, Perthshire, 15 10. 

32. „ „ of the Menzies' of Shian and Glenquich 

Perthshire, 1672, . . . . 

33. „ „ of the . Menzies' of Culdares, Meggernie. 

and - Glenlyon, 1577-1672, . 

34. ,, „ of the Menzies' of Aberdeen, 1672, 

35. ,, ,, of the Menzies' of Pitfodels, Aberdeenshire 


36. „ „ of the Menzies' of Gledstanes and Edin 

BURGH, 1695, 

37. „ „ of the Menzies' of Bolfracks (Traditional), 

38. ,, „ the Menzies' of Bolfracks and Pitlochie, 


39. The Menzies Heath — the Full-Dress Badge of Clan Menzies, . 

40. The Stag's Horn, or Club Moss — the Evergreen Badge of Clan Menzies 

41. The Mountain Ash, or Ash Tree — the Hunting Badge of Clan Menzies, 



45 2 












The Royal Library, Windsor Castle, . . . One Large Copy. 

N the following columns is a List of Subscribers to 
the Large Paper Copies of the " IReo ailb MbltC " 
1830CR Of flDeil3lC5, by whose support before publica- 
tion the Author was encouraged to complete the work, 
who hereby begs to tender his sincere thanks to 


also to — 


Large Copies. 
Walter Menzies, Esq., J. P., of the Phoenix Tube Works, and East Park, Rutherglen, 5 

W. D. Graham Menzies, Esq., J. P., of Hallyburton and Pitcur, Hallyburton, 

Coupar-Angus, ............ 5 

Colonel Duncan Menzies, J. P., Argyle and Sutherland Highlanders V.B., 

Westwood, Inverness, and Blarich, Rogart, Sutherlandshire, .... 5 



Large Copies. 

Colonel James Menzies, 5th V.B., H.L.I., The Glasgow Royal Highlanders, 

Mount Fergan, Bothwell, ........... 3 

Rector Thomas Menzies, Esq., J. P., F.E.I.S., Hutcheson's Grammar Schools, Crown 

Street, Glasgow, .......... .2 

Dr J. Duncan Menzies, R.N., Surgeon of H.M.S. Sharpshooter (late H.M.S. 

Sanspareil), 23 Westbourne Park Road, Bayswater, London, W., . . .2 

Lieut. W. G. Stuart Menzies of Culdares, Aikenway, Craigellachie, N.B., . . 2 

Mrs Beatrice Graham Menzies of Hallyburton, Coupar-Angus, N.B., and 32 

Queen's Gate, London, W., .......... 2 

His Grace The Duke of Hamilton, K.T., Hamilton Palace, near Hamilton, 

and Kinniel House, Linlithgowshire, &c, ........ 1 

The Right Hon. The Marquess of Tweeddale, D.L., Yester House, Hadding- 
tonshire, .............. 1 

The Right Hon. The Marquess of Bute, K.T., LL.D., F.S.A. Scot., Mount- 

stuart, Isle of Bute, ............ 1 

"The Chief" Sir Robert Menzies, Bart., D.L., J. P., of Menzies; Seats — Castle 
Menzies, Foss House, Rannoch Lodge, and Farleyer, near Aberfeldy, Perthshire, 

Captain Fletcher Norton Menzies, Esq. of Menzies, Balmacneil, Ballinluig, N.B., 

Colonel Sir Alexander Moncrieff, K.C.B., of Bandirran, Scone, Perth, . 

J. S. A. Baird, Esq., M.P. {Central Division, Glasgow), of Adamton, Monktown, 

Messrs Banks & Co., Printers, 12 George Street and Grange Works, Edinburgh, 

William Brown, Esq., 26 Princes Street, Edinburgh, . . . . 

Archibald Bruce, Esq., 125 North John Street, Glasgow, .... 

R. T. Hamilton Bruce, Esq., 32 George Square, Edinburgh, 

The Very Rev. Rector /Eneas Chisholm (President of Blair's College. 
Aberdeenshire, founded by the late John Menzies, Esq. of Pitfodels), 

James Colquhoun, Esq., LL.D., 19 Camphill Quadrant, Langside, Glasgow, 

Ralph Dundas, Esq., C.S., 28 Drumsheugh Gardens, Edinburgh, . 

Captain G. David Clayhills Henderson, R.N., of Invergowrie, . 

Alan Hutchieson, Esq., Elliot Hill, Durham, 

James Auldjo Jamieson, Esq., W.S., 14 Buckingham Terrace, Edinburgh, 


William Duncan Lowe, Esq., W.S., 15 Lynedoch Place, Edinburgh, 

^Eneas William Mackintosh, Esq. of Raigmore, Raigmore House, Inverness, 

John Graham Menzies, Esq. of Hallyburton, and of Escrick Park, York, 

F. C. Graham Menzies, Esq. of Hallyburton, Coupar-Angus, N.B., . 

Colonel Robert Menzies, Q.R.V.B., R.S., 40 Drummond Place, Edinburgh, . 

Major Archibald Menzies, Q.R.V.B., R.S., 3 North St David Street, Edinburgh, 

Lieut. David Menzies, Esq. of Balornock, 7 Buckingham Terrace, Glasgow, . 

William John Menzies, Esq. of Balornock, The Grains Co., Burton-on-Trent, 

Captain Duncan Menzies, C.E., Q.R.V.B., R.S., 39 York Place, Edinburgh, . 

John R. Menzies, Esq., 8 Hanover Street and Grosvenor Crescent, Edinburgh, 

Captain Charles F. Menzies, Haddington R. M. Artillery, 8 Hanover St., Edinburgh 

Dr David Menzies, M.D., F.R.C.S., Rutland Square, Edinburgh, . 

Dr James Irvine Menzies, 47 Earl's Court Square, London, S.W. 

Dr James Menzies, Worksop, Notts, 

John Menzies, Esq., J. P., C.E., Menai Bank, Carnarvon, Wales, 

Major W. J. B. Stewart Menzies of Chesthill, Glenlyon, near Aberfeldy, N.B., 

John Henry Menzies, Esq., J. P., of Menzies Bay, Lyttelton, Canterbury, New Zealand 

William J. Menzies, Esq. of Stretton Hall, Malpas, Cheshire, 

Alfred Menzies Jones, Esq. of Ravenswood, Norbiton, Surrey, 

The Rev. Canon Frederick Menzies, M.A. Oxon., of Brasenose College, Oxford 
Shefford Lodge, Bournemouth, . ... 

Mrs Robert Norton, ?iee Menzies, Coombe Croft, Norbiton, Surrey, 

Robert Murray Menzies, Esq. (Bolfracks), West Livlands, Stirling, 

William R. Murray Menzies, Esq. (Bolfracks), Ireby, Norwood, Ceylon, India 

James Stewart Menzies, Esq. (Bolfracks), 73 Victoria Place, Perth, 

Ranald Stewart Menzies, Esq. (Bolfracks), Bank of India, Bombay (73 Victoria 
Place, Perth), 

James Martin Menzies, Esq., M.A., 24 Carlton Hill, St John's Wood, London, 
Bailie Thomas Menzies, Esq., 1 Abercromby Place, Stirling, .... 
Charles Ramage Menzies, Esq., 87 Cambridge Street, Glasgow, 
Charles Menzies, Esq., 102 Allison Street, Queen's Park, Glasgow, 
William C. Menzies, Esq., 33 Kelvingrove Street, Glasgow, .... 

Large Copies. 


Large Copies. 

John Low Menzies, Esq., 98 Eglinton Street, Glasgow, . . . [a nd 2 Small], 

James Menzies, Esq., 30 Royal Circus, Edinburgh, 

Robert Menzies, Esq., 7 Janefield Place, Maryhill, Glasgow, .... 

Robert Menzies, Esq., 22 Bow Street, Stirling, ...... 

Robert A. M. Menzies, Esq., Hawkfield House, Restalrig Road, Leith, . 

Thomas Menzies, Esq., 23 Marchmont Road, Edinburgh, .... 

Thomas C. Menzies, Esq., Shipbuilder, Wet Dock, Leith, . 

Wm. J. Menzies, Esq., W.S., 123 George Street, and Canaan House, Grange Loan 
Edinburgh, ............ 

William Menzies, Esq., C.E., 1 Grosvenor Villas, Newcastle-on-Tyne, 

John Menzies, Esq., Railway Station, Crieff, N.B., . 

Adam Menzies, Esq., Hillview, Pitlochry, N.B., 

John Menzies, Esq., Lead Merchant, Aberfeldy, Perthshire, .... 

George Menzies, Esq., Commissioner to the Duke of Sutherland (English Estates), 
Trentham, Stoke-on-Trent, ......... 

Robert Charles Menzies, Esq., Spring Cottage, Musselburgh, 

James Menzies, Esq., of Phcenix Works, Beechwood, Rutherglen, . 

William Menzies, Esq., of Phoenix Works, Fernbank, Rutherglen, . 

J. C. Menzies, Esq., Iron and Steel Co., Portland, Oregon, U.S. America, 

John Menzies, Esq., Laura, South Australia, ....... 

Mrs Kinloch Grant of Arndilly, Aikenmay, Craigellachie, N.B., . 

Mrs M'Donald M'Vicar of Invermoidart, by Inverness, .... 

Mrs Duncan Menzies, 23 Westbourne Park Road, Bayswater, London, . 

Robert Ramsey, Esq., 14 Park Terrace, Glasgow, ...... 

J. Stewart Robertson, Esq. of Edradynate, Grandtully, Strathtay, Perthshire, 

Lieutenant-Colonel William Smythe of Methven Castle, Perthshire, . 

Lieutenant A. Robertson Stark, 3rd Batt. Seaforth Highlanders, 

William Strang Steel, Esq., D.L., of Philiphaugh, Philiphaugh, Selkirk, . 

Hugh Steven, Esq. of Skeldon, Westmount, Montgomerie Drive, Kelvinside 
Glasgow, ............. 

William D. Turnbull, Esq., Place of Bonhill, Renton, Dumbartonshire, 








The 100 Copies to 'which the Large Paper Edition was limited, are fully subscribed for. 

Privately Printed. 

Book of 2f)eNzies. 

UAbi)Ap ^De-Aps us 3^^ n ^ 2fJ e inGpi c b • 


' The first of Scottish Kings that Albion boasts, 
Who oft to victory led the Scottish hosts, 
Was Fergus, Ferchad's son, whose mighty shield 
Bore a Red Lion on a yellow field ; 
Three hundred years and thirty was his reign, 
Before Christ came to break sin's deadly chain." 
Maynus the second son of King Fergus was, 
Who on his shield emblazoned bore 
A Red Chief on a white field. 

fIDainus, 1st of ano ifounoer of tbe " Siol na fIDapnericb/' 

aaa Tii — it. 

ING FERGUS, the first King of Scots, who began to 
reign over Albion, B.C. 333, had two sons — first, 
" Ferlegus ;" second, MAYNUS, which is the spelling 
given by Boece, but Buchanan spells it Mainus, both 
of which are almost exactly the euphonic spelling of 
the Gaelic for Menzies to-day in the Highlands of 
Perthshire. This Maynus is the great progenitor and 
the first man who gave the Gaelic designation to his 
descendants, who are known as the Siol na Maynerich, 
or, in British, the Descendants of Menzies, or Maynus as anciently written and 
still pronounced wherever the Gaelic language is spoken over the Scottish 
Highlands ; thus we find the Highlanders of Inverness-shire, Argyleshire, Ross- 
shire, and Aberdeenshire pronounce the name Maynus or Mainus when speaking 
in Gaelic of Menzies. 

On the death of King Fergus the First, his two sons being under age, their 

2 THE " RED & WHITE" BOOK OF MENZIES. [b.c. 300. 

uncle " Ferithais " reigned instead for about fifteen years, but was killed by 
Ferlegus, who fled from Scota, when by general consent "Maynus" or Menzies, the 
younger son, was made King of Scots about the year 300 B.C. Maynus is represented 
by all the old Scottish chroniclers to have been a man of justice and a great lover 
of peace, for during his time there is no record or tradition of his ever having 
embroiled his country in war. It is also said that a favourite retreat of his from 
the cares of his high office was the Appin na Maynerich, which still bears his name, 
otherwise known as Strath Tay, in Perthshire, or the " Vale of the Menzies." 

As the virtues and life of Maynus have been preserved to us by our ancient 
writers, and embodied in the chronicles of Scotland by Buchanan, Fordoun, Boece, 
and others, we give the latter's record of his life : — " Maynus was ane nobil prince, 
richt different fra his bruthir, havand all vicious men in great hatrent ; he excerecit 
justice equaly in his realme amang thaim self. The difficill materis quhen thay 
occurrit was discussit be himself anis in the yeir quhen he past throw his realme 
halding his justice airis for redressing of wrangis, and punitioun of trespassours." 

It was in the time of Maynus that " Crynus " ruled over the Pichts, of whom it 
is recorded that : — " Crynus, King of Pichtis, send ambassatouris to King Maynus 
rejoising of his felicite and desiring the band of peace maid afore betivix Scottis 
and Pichtis, to be renewit. King Maynus weill instruckit be his nobillis quhat was 
to be done ressavit thir ambassatouris, and condiscendid to thair petion ; the peace 
ratefyit in this maner, the Scottis began to burgeoun [flourish] in sicker peace. 

" King Maynus knawing weill na pepill may incres but [by] justice, peace, and 
religioun ; and every thing in erd [earth] sa subdewit to the power of Goddis, 
that na devise nor ingine of man may avale bot gif [of] the Goddis, that stand 
propiciant thairto, quhais [whose] benivolence [has] bene sicker gard and protec- 
tioun to all pepill ; thairfore, to move his leiges to religioun, he likit certane new 
cerimonis, to be maid in honour of Goddis within thair tempillis, and, first, he 
raisit ane huge stane on the south side of the said tempillis, on quhilk [which] thair 
sacrifice was maid. In memory heirof remains yit in our dayis mony huge stanis, 
drawin togidder in forme of circulis, namit be the pepill the anciant tempillis of 
Goddis. It is litill admiratioun be quhat ingine and strenth sa huge stanes [have] 
bene brocht togidder. 

" The sacrifice usit in thay dayis was ane portioun of cornis, cattellis, or ony 
othir fruits that grew upon the ground, quhilk was givin to Kirkmen [Druids] for 
thair sustentatioun ; and offerit to the Goddis quhen the samin was superfleus, or 
mair than was sufficient sustentatioun for the Preistis. King Maynus foundat als 
ane sacrifice to be maid monethly, in honoure of Diane, Goddis of Woddis and 
Huntaris ; and thairfore, the pepill maid thair adoratioun to the new mone. 
Quhilk superstitioun was lang usit amang oure anciant faders, and mony othir 
vane ceremonyis efter the rite of Egyptianis. Quhen [when] Maynus had governit 

b.c. 300-33.] THE FIRST MENZIES. 3 

his pepill in gud justice, and institute thaim with thir and othir superstitionis 
pleasand to the religioun of thay dayis, he resignit the crown to his sonne 
Dorvidilla, and decessit the xxix year of his regne." — Boece's Croniklis of 
Scotland, pp. 37, 38. 

" Unless the fates are false, the Scots will reign 
Where'er the fatal Stone they find again." 

It is said that, on withdrawing from the royal power, Maynus spent the latter 
end of his days in the Appin na Maynerich among the rest of his family, to whom 
his peaceful nature has been an inheritance to his descendants down to the present. 
It has been acknowledged by all writers that the Maynerich, MeinericJi, or Menzies' 
have always been a peacefully disposed clan. And it is also a well-known fact 
that in the Menzies country there are a large number of standing stones and 
several stone circles, the most perfect circle being on the old Menzies' lands of 
Stix or Stuic, near Kenmore, about four miles west from Aberfeldy, confirming 
by their silent presence the tale of the ancient chroniclers, that Maynus had " huge 
stains drawin togidder in forme of circles," for the worship of the people ; indeed, 
the whole ancient and present country of the Menzies is bristling with these 
ancient reliques of a dead religion, whose founder was the first Menzies. With 
such religious stones his name is inseparably connected. Mainner in Gaelic means 
" enclosure of stones," and maen in Welsh Gaelic means " stones of the ancients." 
Fordoun spells the name of this first Menzies, Manre ; then Buchanan, Mainus ; 
and Boece, Maynus. 

For the sake of connection we will give the royal successors, the descendants 
of Maynus who held the throne of Scots, until we come to the point of history 
when the more humble descendants of his children begin to appear in records. 
Menzies or Maynus was succeeded in the kingly office by the second of the line 
Dorvidilla (2nd), who reigned twenty-eight years ; and was succeeded by his 
brother Nathak (3rd), who ruled two years ; when the grandson of Menzies, 
" Rewthar " (4th), became king ; who, after seventeen years' rule, was succeeded 
by his son Thereus (5th), who held the throne for twelve years ; when his brother 
Josyne (6th) reigned for twenty-six years ; and was followed by his son Fynnane, 
or Mynnane (7th), who ruled for thirty years ; and was succeeded by his son 
Durstus (8th) ; who, after nine years, was deposed for Ewin (9th), his cousin, who 
governed for nineteen years; when the crown was usurped by Gillus (10th), who 
was banished to Ireland; and the nephew of Fynnane or Mynnane, Ewin II., 
and 11th Menzies in descent, became king; and after a peaceful reign, resigned 
his power to " Edeir," the 12th in descent — he ruled for forty-eight years ; and was 
succeeded by his son Ewin III. and 13th, who reigned seven years ; and was suc- 
ceeded by the nephew of Edeir, " Metellane " or " Mainus," the 14th in descent from 
the first Menzies, and doubtless named from his ancestor the third King of Scots. 

4 THE "RED 6- WHITE" BOOK OF MENZIES. [b.c. 33 -a.d. 29. 

flDainus, tbe I4tb fiDeii3ies from Ikino flftainus. 

B.C. 33— A.D. 29. 

VH^AINUS i s the spelling of his name given by Holinshead, showing that 
X Ha/ Metellanus, Mainus, and Menzies are simply different ways of the 
same name. Metellanus is said to have succeeded to the kingly office 
about B.C. 1 3. Tradition says he held his court at Fortingall, in the country of the 
Menzies', and the old castle of the Menzies', Garth Castle, is thought to have been 
one of his old strengths. He is also the Menzies who is pointed to as the one who 
induced his kinsmen to study the arts of metal mining ; indeed, one of the forms in 
Gaelic of the name Menzies is Mein, which means, i.g., metal, gold metal. He, from 
his high position, would be likened or compared to Mein-Oir — i.e., gold metal, which, 
when put in the form of a Latin name, becomes Metellanus ; and if the syllable 
" tell " be taken from Me-tell-anus we have Meanus. It may therefore be safely 
concluded that from him a section of the Menzies' became, according to the 
tradition, the royal miners under the crown, which they continued to be until 
the days of Bruce, when these hardy miners are said to have mustered to the 
number of upwards of 5000 men, under the red and white banner of Clan Menzies, 
at Bannockburn, where they did prodigious work for Bruce and Scotland. The 
mines belonging to the Menzies' are said to have been in Badenoch, where there 
are still the remains of some of those ancient workings ; also the old copper mines 
on the north side of Loch Linnie, half-way between the loch and Ben Mein, which 
still retains the name of its old owners, the Mein-erich ; likewise on Loch Tay-side 
are still the copper mines called " Tomnadashen Copper Mines," where even gold 
has been found up to the present century. The silver and lead mines of Corribuie 
and Meall-na-Creige, also in the neighbourhood of Loch Tay, with the silver and 
lead mines at the far west end of Glendochart, near Tyndrum, were all within 
the possessions of the Menzies' down to about the seventeenth century — being 
undoubted evidence in support of the traditions that the Menzies' wrought the 
gold, silver and copper mines under their kinsmen, the ancient Kings of Scotia. 
We now give the life of this Menzies as recorded by the old chroniclers : — 
" Eftir the deith of King Ewing the nobillis chesit Metellane [or ' Mainus,' 
who] wes nepote to King Edeir gottin be his brodir Carron to the king. This 
Metellane wes the maist humull prince that rang above the Scottis to his days, 
havand na uncouth nor domistik weris during his time, and governit all materis 
baith at hame and afeld with gret labouris to abrogat the cursed laws of King 
Ewing ; [nevertheless] he wes so fochit be inopertune solicitation of his nobillis 
[that he was] constrainit to desist. 

" About this time came ambassatouris of Romanis to Kymbalyne, King of 


Britonis, thankand him for his perseverance in peace and amite with the Senat 
and pepill of Rome, and shoewd to him that the hail warld wes [at] that time 
in peace, with more tranquillite than evir wes sene in ony time afore ; and exhortitd 
the Britonis, thairfore, be example of othir pepill to keip peace and concord amang 
thaim but occasioun of any cruil or uncouth weris ; for sic doings pertenit to the 
felicite of August Empriour, and all othir pepill. Thir same ambassatouris came 
sone eftir to King Metellane or "Mainus" with sic like exhortatioun. King 
Metellane heirand be narratioun of thair ambassatouris, that the farrest pepill of 
the Orient socht amite of the Romans, and send sindry goldin crownis to August 
Emprioure ; he thoucht he wald nocht be so unpleasand to contempue the majestie 
and magnitude of [the] Roman pepill ; and send thairfore, with thir ambassatouris, 
sindry riche jowellis, to be offerit to August Emprioure and othir goddis in the 
capitol. Be this way King Metellane conquest sicker amite of Romanus, quhilk 
mony yeirs eftir indurit. Of this message send be August to the Britons, writtis 
Strabbo, in his buk of geography callit The Discriptioun of the Erd [Earth], in 
quhilk is schawin the situation of Britane, with the names of the inhabitants 
thairof: — 'The Warld beand thus in peace, Christ our Salviour wes borne of 
the Virgine Mary, douchter of Anna and Joachim, in Bethelem city of Jowry, 
the same time quhen the scheiphirdis herd the angellis sing, quhen the three 
kings, gidit be the starne, came to the place quhare our Salviour was borne.' 
Mony uncouth and strange miraclis apperit in the time of his nativite, as Haly 
Writ schawis His nativite fell in the x yeir of the regne of Metellane ; fra the 
beginning of the realm of Scots yeris ; the xlii yeir of the empire of 
Augest ; fra the beginning of the warld V.M.C. XCIX yeris. King ' Mainus ' 
raing mony yeris in gud peace, doing na man injurie ; and sa happy and pleasand 
to his subditis, that his fame wes patent throw all bounds of Albioun. He 
deceissit the XXXIX yeir of his regne, the yeir of Tiberius Empriour ; fra the 
nativite of Christ XXIX yeirs." — Boece's Croniklis of Scot., pp. 85, 86. 

The remains of the camp of the Roman ambassador, whom Caesar Augustus 
sent to King Mainus to arrange a peace, is still visible a short distance behind 
the village of Fortingall in the Appin-na-MainnericJi ; for which lands of Fortingall 
the Menzies', according to ancient Scottish records, were the first proprietors, and 
also the first to get charters for the lands of Fortingall, now represented by that 
parish as a whole. The Roman camp was there preserved by the Menzies', the 
descendants of " Maynus " and this " Metellane." The camp shows too small an 
area to contain anything more than what had been, in those times, the retinue of 
such a person as an ambassador on a friendly and peaceful mission ; otherwise 
the Romans could never have forced their way into such a country with so small 
a force as this Roman camp could hold. Tradition says that this ambassador 
was the father of Pontius Pilate, who was accompanied by his wife, and who, while 

6 THE "RED & WHITE" BOOK OF MENZIES. [a.d. 10-89. 

sojourning in the land of the Menzies', bore the Roman ambassador a son at 
Fortingall, this son afterwards becoming Pontius Pilate, the governor of Judea in 
the time of our Lord. Fortingall means " the camp or fort of the stranger." 
Many articles have been dug out of the camp from time to time — a Roman 
standard with a five-fluted spear, now at Troup House ; also a vase of curious 
mixed metal, shaped like a coffee-pot, found in. 1733, now at Taymouth ; also 
other urns, &c. 

fIDensuteus, tbe I5tb fIDen3ies in descent from flDa\mus. 


^||^ENSUTEUS, or Mansuteus, was the son, or nephew, of Metellanus or 
X El*/ Mainus, who was on such friendly terms with the Roman power that, as 
we have seen, he entertained the Roman embassy, and made a treaty of 
peace with that power, which was maintained during his time ; indeed, so great 
would appear the friendship to be between King Mainus and Rome, that he sent 
one of his kin over to Rome to be instructed in the letters and Arts of that time. 
This son, or nephew, was Mansuteus who, on arriving there, was so struck with 
the preaching of the Apostle Peter that he became converted ; and it is recorded 
of him by ancient writers that he was instructed in the mystery of human 
salvation through Christ, and was ordained by the Apostle Peter as a disciple 
of Christ, and was made a missionary to his own people at Tulli, now Dull, 
being empowered to found a Church at Tulli, Dull in Scotland — in Latin 
episcopus Tulli, qui natione scotus. At Dull, or Tulli, his native place, he 
preached and spoke to the people of the sweetness and goodness of Christ, 
exhorting them to be faithful to him. This Menzies is recorded to have been 
the friend and companion of S. Clementis of Scotland, his fellow-labourer, who 
founded a Church in Dull, Tulli, and called it after his friend the " Church of 
Afetenses.'' This Mansuteus (Menzies) was the first to found in Scotia a 
College, of which he became the principal, and called it " S. Clementis" College 
of Dull, Tulli, doubtless out of love for S. Clementis, who must have been 
his brother, as the meaning of Menzies given by H. Long in his meaning of 
names is " clemency." In his dwelling-place at Tulli, or Dull, he taught his Celtic 
brethren the art of letters he had learned at Rome ; and from him descend a 
long line of Menzies, who received their tuition at the College of Dull founded 
by him. The knowledge of letters seems to have been kept among them, and 
handed from father to son, from this period down to the time when the College 
of Dull was removed to St Andrews in 1311. St Andrews still pays a small 
acknowledgment to the Parish of Dull on this account. Mansuteus (Menzies) 
was the writer of De Apostolicis Traditiorbus, lib. i. He was born about A.D. 10, 


and flourished A.D. 62, but may have died about A.D. 89. Of him it has been 
written of which we give a translation : — " Forward, united by noble birth to 
Scotia goes Mansuetun " (Menzies). There are in the Menzies' country close to 
the Clachan of Dull, or Tulli — which is its ancient place-name — several other 
places which still retain the ancient form of the name, such as Tulli-cro, lying 
between Dull and the Tay; then, on the other side of the river is Tulli-chuil; and to 
the west is Tulli-ch Wester and Easter, Tulli-chglas, Tuli-chan, and Tulli-chvill. 
— Hist. Eccl. Gents Scot., Dempster. 

flDcoanus, tbe I6tb flDen3ies from flDa^nus. 

ABOUT A.D. 69 TO ABOUT 150. 

^''HE successor of Mansuetus, Menzies, appears to be Medanus, or Meanus 
^^, probably his son, who has been recorded as one of the Scots writers, 
possibly born about A.D. 69., and is said to have flourished about A.D. 100, 
but may have died about 150. Mackenzie puts his name on the Roll of Scots 
authors who flourished about A.D. 100. When the letter d is removed from the 
name, the name becomes very similar to the modern Gaelic Mean-rich, Meanus. 
— Mackenzie's Scots Writers. 

flDeoani, tbe I7tb fll>cn3ics in oescent. 

A.D. 145 TO ABOUT 234. 

^^*HIS Menzies appears to have been the son of the foregoing. It is afterwards 
^^, recorded of Mandanus, who died about the year 1000 — when referring 
to this Medani Menzies — that he had a Brother Friar, Modani, remote 
by many ages, showing a slight alteration in the name, so as to distinguish 
between them, as they were both writers. He is referred to by Hector Bcethius 
as one of the Scottish writers, and an author of considerable learning, being 
born about 145, and flourished about A.D. 234. — No. 936, Hist. Eccl. Gents Scot., 
p. 493, vol. ii. 

fIDeaniua, tbe I8tb fH>en3ies. 

Surnamed The Good. 

ABOUT A.D. 225-300. 

^^^HE Good Mellanins, or Meanius, now Menzies of " Scotus," the apparent 

^^^ successor of Medanus, and possibly his son. He is recorded to have 

belonged to the outlying parts of Britain, the Highlands of " Scotus," and 

to have been with the minister Stephani, seeing his wonderful miracles and 

8 THE "RED &• WHITE" BOOK OF MENZIES. [a.d. 270-369. 

conversions to Christ, and with him "he instructed, baptised, and preached of 
the sacred ordinances of the Divine Being." He appears to have been con- 
secrated in the year 256, and then went to the "Antisiodrum " men, travelling 
on foot to both parts, and preaching of the crucifixion. Moreover, " Rhotomagum 
predicted he converted almost the whole population to Christianity." He was 
probably born about 225, and flourished 260, and may have died about 300. He 
was the author of Homilias, lib. i. — No. 924, Hist. Eccl. Gents Scot., p. 448, vol. ii. 

flDenna, tbe I9tb flDeivsies from flDa\mus. 

A.D. 2/O-361. 

^Bj^ENNA, apparently the son of the above, who is recorded as living in 
^_ 11*/ the early times of Saint Elifii and Eucharii, about the time of 
Susamae, and with them strove for the liberties of their tribes. He 
with these others preached through Scotia the liberty of salvation, consummated 
through the sacred death of Christ, and admonished the Scotia Scots to follow 
the teaching of the Scriptures. He may have been born at Dull about 270. 
It is recorded that he died about the 16th October 361. His name is spelt 
almost exactly as Menzies is pronounced in Aberdeenshire at the present day. 
— No. 893, Hist. Eccl. Gents Scot., p. 41, 2, Dr R. 

flDeinaus, tbe 20tb ffl>en3ie6 in Descent from flDa\mus. 

A.D. 3OO-369. 

^IB^EINAUS or Merinatus, possibly the son of Menna, may have been 
JL 11*/ born about 300, and we find it recorded of him that "he was a deacon 
of the Culdee Church, and that he taught the faith with much fame 
to his own people," the Scots or the Highlanders of Athole, and other parts, as 
well as the neighbouring Picts, when Saint Regulus brought into Albion the 
reliques of St Andrew. He died about the year 369. There were also in his 
time several other writers of the family of Menzies flourishing contemporary 
with him, whose names are Merinus, Mirinus, and Merinatus. The insertion 
of a letter, such as an r or a /, was obviously to make a difference between 
the individuals bearing the same name, in the absence of a Christian name. 
The successor to Meinaus, probably his son, was Manrus or Maurus. — No. 908, 
Hist. Eccl. Gents Scot. 


flDenrns, tbc 2lst flDcn3ie6 oescenping front Iking fll>a\mus. 

A.D. 357-440. 

^||V ENRUS, or Manrus, apparently the son of the ;ibove, was probably 
iJL !§*/ born about the year 357. He is also recorded as one of the religious 
men of letters of his day, and one of the Scots writers who flourished 
in the early half of the fifth century. It is said that he died about the year 
440. There was also another Menzies writer in his time, who may have been 
his brother, by name Moveanus or Moeanus. This Menzies flourished during 
the reign of Fergus II., who had two brothers, one of whom was named 
Menegus, or Fenegus, doubtless after King Maynus. 

One of the reasons why so many Menzies became members of the religious 
schools, men of letters, and otherwise scholastic in their lives was, that they had 
the ancient College of Dull in their own country, where they were trained in the 
art of letters, and instructed in the knowledge of the Scriptures, preparatory to 
becoming ministers of the new religion of Christ, which was then replacing that 
taught by the Druids. Thus we have Menzies' succeeding one another as 
writers, etc., all emanating from their College of Dull. — No. 889, Hist. Eccl. Gents 
Scot.,p, 470, vol. ii., and Mackenzie's Scots Writers. 

flDenacus, tbc 22no fll>eit3ies front fH>a\muB, 

A.D. 40O-463. 

/h|V ENACUS, or Menalchns, was probably born about the year 400, and 
X II «/ would appear to have been trained for the Church, doubtless at the 
great seat of learning in the Highlands, at Dull. His name has been 
handed down to us as one of the religious men of letters. He flourished about 
the year 463, and is recorded to have been the associate and colleague of St 
Livini, of Scotia, during the life of the illustrious St Bonifacius. He is said to 
"have spoken straightforwardly to the Scotus, and with power to the Celtic 
community, his own people, and dispelled the superstitions witnessed everywhere 
in Scotia, and that he was a pastor in the highland centre of Scotland, which 
is Dull." — No. 892, Hist. Eccl. Gents Scot., and Mackenzie's Scots Writers. 

io THE "RED 6" WHITE" BOOK OF MENZIES. [a.d. 430-586. 

f!l>einus, tbe 23ro flDeii3iC6 in descent. 

A.D. 430-480. 

V||V EINUS, or Merlinus, is said to have been not only a man of letters, 
JL ll^7 but also to have been one of the ancient Gaelic Bards, and to have 
flourished about 480. These Bards of the Gael, and also of the 
Briton, were for a considerable time the only historians who noted down and 
recorded the events of their time, particularly the victories of the warrior or 
chief. Most of their works were composed or written in a sort of rhyme. He 
is said to have foretold the arrival of the Saxons, and their conquests. Possibly 
he was the son of the foregoing, and was succeeded by Mianus. — Histl. Society's 
Trans., p. 112, vol. v. 

fllManus, tbe 24tb flDeit3ies in oescent from fIDapnus. 

A.D. 459-538. 

V||V I ANUS, or Middanus. — It is recorded of him that he was one of the 
J^ ||»/ writers of his age, and that he was the author of the book called 
Epistolas ad Varios, and also of the volume, Documenta ad Fratres. 
Doubtless he was educated at the College of his Menzies ancestors at Dull, 
from whence he appears, as recorded, to have become the Abbot of Buchan, 
where he left a famous memory among the people, and a saintly record, of 
whom miracles are related. John Fraser, professor at Paris, had some manuscripts 
of his acts, and thought to publish them, but death prevented him. Middanus, 
Menzies, may have been born about 459, and is recorded to have flourished 
A.D. 503, but may have died about 538. — Hist. Eccl. Gents Scot., Dempster. 

flDenaue, tbe 25tb fll>en3ies from flDa^nue. 

A.D. 498-586. 

* ^H^EDANUS,' or Menaus, the son and successor of the foregoing. He is 
m. Ill*/ recorded to have been a man of great piety, who continued the 
teaching of the religion of Christ, to the Scots and Picts, as his 
forefathers had done. " He led a life of virtue, which was an example to his 
posterity." He is thought to have lived in the early part of the reign of King 
Aidane, or Achaii, who was crowned by St Colome, and who had great trouble 


with the Saxons, whom he ultimately defeated. Meanus was the author of the 
book named Laudes monastics Vitce, lib. i. Born about 498, he flourished 
about 534, and may have died about 586. Contemporary with him was 
Modanus, probably his brother, also a man of letters, who flourished A.D. 535, 
and may have died about 588. — No. 844, Hist. Eccl. Gents Scot., p. 450. 

fH>einu6, tbe 26tb fU>eit3ies oescenoino front fll>a\mus. 

A.D. 520-590. 

VjJlV E I N US, 1 ir Merlinus, surnamed Caledouius, probably the son of Medanus. 
J^ || «/ He is recorded to have been born in the forest of "Caledonia, in 
Scotia," doubtless the forest of Athole, in the country of the Mein-erich, 
" where, from his early youth, he taught with grace as a prophet, his Celtic 
countrymen, instructing them by the Holy Scriptures, of the gift of undoubted 
religion." He is said to have "instructed King Arthur in his private conscience," 
with whom he was on terms of intimacy. He is recorded to have lived " many 
years of his life in the Caledonian Scottish forests," where he, as a faithful 
disciple of Scotia, diffused a pious example by his saintly life. Born about 520, 
he flourished about 570, and he died about 590. He was the author of several 
writings, of which are — Super quibusdam Honoribus, 1 vol., Dicta de sepimo, 
1 vol., Super quodam sexto, 1 vol., and others. — No. 925, Hist. Eccl. Gents Scot., 
p. 488, vol. ii. 

ffl>eanu$, tbe 27tb flDeivsies in Descent 

A.D. 579-664. 

^||V EANUS, or Moveanus, of Scotis, a writer who is recorded to have 
^.11^7 "laboured with admirable devotion, expounding the sacred Scriptures, 
which he did zealously and loyally, at the time of the youngest 
St Blanus, and the accomplished King Cougallus, and King Kenethus, who 
made many Abbeys and Monastries in Scotland, which he saw under their 
patronage in Kippan, and were consecrated with song." Of his colleagues, who 
for native piety and zeal are known, with others was Medano. He wrote other 
works — De Regulari Vita ad Monachos, lib. i., Ad Ecclesias Scoticas," lib. i. 
He was probably the son of Meinus, and born at Dull about 579. He flourished 
about 644, and may have died about 664. — No. 865 Hist. Eccl. Gents Scot., 
p. 458, vol. ii. 

12 THE "RED & WHITE" BOOK OF MENZIES. [a.d. 621-738. 

flfeaninus, tbe 28tb fll>en3ies front flDa\mua, 

A.D. 621-700. 

V|lV AN IN US, Meinus, or, as some writers spell his name, Naninus, is 
JL I!*/ recorded to have been one of the ancient Scottish Presbytery, Presbyter 
Scotits. He, doubtless, was educated at Dull, in his time the great 
seat of the old Celtic Christian Presbytery, before the corruptions of Rome 
reached so far into the heart of the Highlands. It may be conjectured that 
he flourished about the time that King Donald IV. visited the lands of his 
kinsmen, the Menzies' of Loch Tay, and the Appin-na-Meinerich, which seems to 
have been the custom of the Sovereigns of Scotland in St Aidan's day, and 
his, to visit for the purpose of sport — fishing, hunting, etc. — and to keep up the 
family intercourse with the Meinerich. They occasionally sojourned in their 
country about Weem, Dull, and Kenmore. It is recorded that King Donald 
IV. was at Loch Tay, enjoying the pastime of fishing, when he found in it a 
watery grave. Holinshead says, regarding King Donald's death and his visit 
to the Menzies country — " King Donald, in the fifteenth year of his reign, being 
got into a boat to fish in the water called Lochtaie, for his recreation, his chance 
was to be drowned by reason the boat sank under him. Certain days after, his 
body being found, and taken up, was buried amongst his ancestors in Colmekill, 
in the year of our Lord 647." The history of this Menzies is very obscure ; 
indeed, it is a matter of record that Henry Sinclair and Turgot lament the 
fact of the deep shadow in which his life is enveloped, although they made every 
effort to throw light upon his venerated name by their investigations. The 
fame of his name in their time points to the fact of his having done good 
work in his native country, which appears to have been Strath-Tay, where he 
was probably born — the son of Moveanus, his predecessor — about 621, but may 
have died A.D. 700, leaving a son, his successor, Menonis. — No. 962, Hist. Eccl. 
Gents Scot., p. 506. 

flDennis, tbe 29tb flDen3ie6 from flfca^nus. 

A.D. 679-738. 

VjI^ENNIS, Molanus, Mononis, or Mono — all different forms of the name 

X lia} given by Latin writers. He was born in the " mountainous strath," 

Strath-Tay or Appin-na-Meinerich, of Scotia, where, having been 

educated doubtless at Dull in the religious college there, he appears to have gone 

a.d. 737-829.] THE THIRTIETH MENZIES. 13 

alone as a missionary, towards the latter end of his days, to Arduennam, where 
he is recorded to have led a " refined solitary life with God, whom he many times 
and faithfully served ; but at last he was assassinated by a bandit's stab, and they 
laid his dead body in the church which he himself had constructed." He has 
been called the " happy Martyr Mononis." He was the writer of the volume 
Constitntiones sua? Ecclesice, lib. i, and other works. Born about the year 679 ; 
he was stabbed to the death, A.D. 738. — No. 873, Hist. Eccl. Gents Scot. 
p. 460, vol. ii. 

flDanerrus, tbe 30tb flDciyics bescenbing from £ll>a\mus, 

A.D. 737-829. 

^|l^ ENERRUS, or Manerrus, the latter spelling being similar to the name 
X III*/ m Gaelic, used at present by F. N. Menzies of Menzies, viz., Mainnearaicli, 
showing how near in some cases the ancient and modern spelling may 
be. It is recorded of Menerrus that he was a bishop, or " a pastor of the church in 
the country," which must have been his native Highlands of Dull, then the great 
seat of learning. It is further written of him that " In this life he despised the 
glory of a crown, and attained to it in heaven." He was the author of several 
writings, of which we have the following as from his pen : — Lecturas Sacras, 
lib. I ; Locos Communes in Biblia, lib. 1 ; Condones Pias, lib. 1. He may 
have been the son of Menonis, and is recorded to have died about A.D. 829. He 
flourished during part of the reign of King Achaius of Scotia, who is said to have 
gained a great victory over the Saxons, after which Scotland had great peace ; 
in whose time there also flourished another Menzies of note, named Medane, 
probably the brother of the above Menerrus, who was one of the illustrios of the 
Church of Scotia. He has had a consecrated day given him, the 18th of December, 
in the calendar of the Church; and would appear to have left two sons, Menrus and 
Menanus or Monanus. Of the latter it is recorded that he became Archdeacon 
of St Andrews, probably forming the first connecting link between Dull and 
St Andrews, where, " withdrawing from the persecution of the Danish tribes, who 
in the reign of King Gadno Gregoure had cruelly invaded Scotland, when he 
betook himself to the famous priory of the Isle of May, and being there taken 
with many others, attained through constant piety the martyr's crown," A.D. 894. 
He wrote Carmina Sacra, etc. — Nos. 866 and 834, Hist. Eccl. Gents Scot., vol. ii ; 
Cron. Scot. Boece, p 125, vol. ii. 

i 4 THE "RED & WHITE" BOOK OF MENZIES. [a.d. 788-878. 

fIDenrus, tbe 3tst fIDen3ies oeecenotng from flDa^nus. 

A.D. 788-856. 

^H^ENRUS, Matirus, or Rabanus Maurus, "was born in the year 788," 
^H^ possibly at Rabanus or Rarus, near Dull, in the appin of Menzies, in 
the Highlands of Scotland, where he doubtless was educated in the 
College of Dull, from whence he is supposed, about the latter end of the eighth 
century or the beginning of the ninth century, to have gone over to France ; for 
we find by Alcuin that he had a certain amount of training under him while at 
the Court of France; after which he went to Germany, where he retired to the 
Monastery of Fulda, and was trusted with the government of the monks there. 
These monks having asked him several questions about their duty, he composed 
for their use in the year 819 — probably shortly after he was appointed the governor, 
which was in the same year — his " Treatise of the Instructions to Clerks." After 
he had resided some time in the Monastery of Fulda, he entered into holy orders, 
and was at length made abbot of that monastery in 822, which he governed for 
twenty-eight years ; but the monks, finding that he applied himself too much to 
study and neglected the affairs of the monastery, complained of him ; upon which 
he ultimately quitted his charge, and returned to the Mount of St Peter, where he 
wrote his " Penitential " and several other works. After he had lived in this 
retired state for some time, he was at last chosen Archbishop of Mayence in the 
year 847. He was no sooner advanced to this dignity than he called a council 
at Mentz for regulating the manners of the clergy and reforming the discipline of 
the Church, at which considerable reforms were decided upon and introduced. 
During his life he wrote many books, according to Mackenzie in his Scots Writers, 
p. 97, vol. i., numbering about fifty-seven. He died at Mentz in the year 856, in 
the sixty-eighth year of his age. M. Du Pin says that " this author excelled in 
all the common learning of those times ; he had also a knack of turning prose 
into verse." — Mackenzie's Scots Writers, p. 97, vol. 1. 

flDennanu0, or tbe 32no fll>en3ie0. 

A.D. 800-878. 

^H^ENNANUS, or Minnanus, another of the ancient line of Menzies', 

X 11*/ emanating from the college and seat of learning at Dull, may have 

been the son of Menanus or Monanus, and was a Christian deacon. It 

is recorded that Minannus was an archdeacon, and flourished with a famous 

reputation for erudition, piety, and learning. Most dear to King Kenneth, he 

The Misnzies Altar in St David Menzies' Auld Kirk o' Weem. 


shone during his whole reign. On Kenneth's death he left the court, not being 
able to endure the wasteful luxury of Donald V. ; and after his sad funeral he held 
high place under King Constantine the Second. During the reign of Constantine 
the Danes invaded Scotland, and were encountered by him in a great battle, when 
he was defeated, and being taken prisoner by the Danes, they brought him down 
to a cove by the seashore, and there struck off the head of the Scottish King. 
The name of this Menzies, as written by the ancient writers, is Minnanus, and is 
very similar to the Gaelic spelling given by many people to - day, which is 
Minnarich, and in South Perthshire it is cut down to Minn, and again in Argyleshire 
to Minnus. Mennanus was the writer of several works, viz. : De Legitima Pictici 
Regni cum Scotico Unione, lib. 1 ; Apologiam pro Rege, lib. 1. He died A.D. 878. — 
No. 851, Hist. Eccl. Gents Scot., p. 453. 

ffl>amu6, tbe 33ro flDen3tes in oesccnt from fiDa\mu6. 

A.D. 857-930. 

^||V AINUS, or Mauritius, the 33rd Menzies, who might be the son of 
^11^/ Mennanus the foregoing, and of whom we find it recorded that "He 
was the Abbot of Saint Pantaleoons', or Saint dementis, founded by 
the 15th Menzies at Dull, in Scotland, in the highland country, and which 
monastery contained a sacred or consecrated altar, which in all probability is the 
ancient altar in the auld kirk of Saint David Menzies at Weem, which may have 
been considered a part of the Abthaneage of Dull at that time ; and it is stated 
that this altar was 'similar to others found elsewhere in Fatherland.' In that 
place the abbot, martyr, and professor of the monastery vigorously and nobly 
sought the freedom of heaven. He preached to the Scots of the history and 
the martyrdom of Jesus Christ, as abbot over his locality." He was probably 
born about 857, and is thought to have flourished about the year 900, and to have 
died about 930. His son may have been Menyne, the next of the line. — No. 890, 
Hist. Eccl. Gents Scot., p. 470, vol. ii. 

fll>en\me, tbe 34tb flDeit3tcs front (IDa^nus. 

A.D. 887-960. 

^H^I^XYM 1 ;, or as Skene spells his name, Crynyne, was Abthane of Dull 

J^ || */ in the time of King Malcolm. The office of abthane seems to have 

been the combined offices of abbot and that of thane, or chief, 

holding a large tract of land with followers. The meaning of the word abbot 

is " father," and thus he would be father and chief of his clan, as implied by 

16 THE "RED '&> WHITE" BOOK OF MENZIES. [a.d. 899-1037. 

the title abthane. This Menzies married Beatrice, the only daughter of King 
Malcolm. It is a matter of tradition about Dull and the Vale of Menzies that 
this Abthane of Dull was one of the forefathers of the present chief, Sir Robert 
Menzies, who is a good example of an abthane, being looked up to by the people 
of the country as a father and a chief or thane. Menyne was born about 887, 
and he must have died about 960. — Fordoun, p. 193. 

flDenus, tfoe 35tb flDen3ies front flDa^nm 

A.D. 899-962. 

V|I^ENUS, or Mundus, another of the Scots men of letters, and doubtless 
^111^7 a ^ so educated at the Menzies College at Dull, from whence he appears 
to have settled in Argyleshire, where the Meinerich are said at that 
time to have held large possessions. We have it on record that "Mundus was 
an abbot in Argyleshire, and that he was a most saintly, abstemius pastor, and 
instructed his own people with wonderful piety, and is reported to have written 
much." He must have been born about 899, as he died and was buried at 
Kilmun (?) A.D. 962. He may have been the son of the foregoing, and appears 
to have had other two brothers or clansmen of the name, who flourished about 
the same time, the first being Menanus or Marnanus, of whom it is recorded that 
" He was a saintly pastor, who governed his own people, and with wonderful piety 
instructed them." He is said to have been the author of many writings which 
adorn the scholar's name, of which are : Pro Foedere servando, lib. i. ; Monitorium 
ad Ecclesias Patrias, &c. He flourished about 962, and may have died about 
982. The second is also named among the Scots writers by Mackenzie Meninus, 
or Mirinus, also a man of letters, who flourished A.D. 969. — No. 854 and 852, Hist. 
Eccl. Gents Scot., p. 454, vol. ii. 

fIDeanus, tbe 36tb flDeii3ies from flDa^nus. 

A.D. 958-IO37. 

yilV EANUS or Medanu s, _ otherwise Modani, from his brother pastor, or 

X III*/ "friar remote by many centuries," who was the seventeenth Menzies. 

He was one of the early Fathers of the Church, that preached with 

great power and led a godly life. He was an author, but his writings are 
uncertain. As the son of the foregoing, he would be born about 958, and is 
recorded to have flourished about A.D. 1000, and may have died about 1037, 
leaving a son (Mainus), the next on the line of Menzies. — No. 936, Hist. Eccl. Gents 
Scot., p. 493. 

a.d. 1008-1086.] THE THIRTY-SEVENTH MENZIES. 17 

flDafanus, tbe 37tb fll>en3ies from Ikino fll>a\mu0. 

A.D. 1 008- 1086. 

^#J||^ A I AN US, Mainus, or Marianus, is recorded to have been horn at 
mL BB •J' Tegarmach in Scotland, near Dull, about 1008. He is also said to have 
been born in 1028; and having "learned Humanity, Poetry, Rhetoric, 
and Philosophy," doubtless at the College of Dull, he applied himself to the study 
of the Scriptures, and for that end he retired from the world and became a monk in 
the year 1056, probably having a son born to him about 1043. When Macbeth, 
who usurped the crown of Scotland in 1046, and oppressed the whole country, 
caused many worthy persons to leave their native country, choosing rather to live 
aS exiles than under such a tyrant, among these was Mainus or Marianus, now 
Menzies. He was one of those exiles who fled over to Germany, in the year 1 05 8, 
from the vengeance of Macbeth, and having taken refuge for some time in the 
monastery of St. Martin, at Cologne, he afterwards went with Sigifried to Wirtzburg, 
where he entered into holy orders, and was ordained presbyter in the year 1059. 
After this he went to the monastery of Fulda, where he remained for ten years, 
during which time he applied himself closely to the study of mathematics. Then, 
by the command of the Archbishop of Mentz, he went to that city in the year 1069, 
as he informs us in his chronicle of that year : " In the year 1069," he says, " I, the 
miserable Marianus, at the command of the Bishop of Mentz and Abbot of Fulden, 
and 3d Mon., April, in the tenth year of my retirement, was set at liberty from my 
cell in Fulda, and came to Mentz ; and on the Festival of Seven Brethren was 
again shut up." After this he was sent to Ratisbon, where he was made Public 
Professor of Theology and Mathematics. But this employment not agreeing v/ith 
his austere way of living, he returned again to Mentz, and shut himself up in 
his monastery, where he continued till his death. 

During the time of his retirement in the monasteries of Cologne, Fulda, and 
Mentz, he wrote several excellent books, most of which are now lost, but we have 
still extant his " Chronicle of the Creation of the World till the year 1083." 
Besides his Chronicle, we owe to him the preservation of the " Notitia Utriusque 
Imperii," which he transcribed for his own use, and which book was for a long 
time lost or concealed ; but at length this copy of his was found in Scotland, in the 
year 1571, doubtless at Castle Menzies, which was the year when Castle Menyeis was 
being repaired — probably being brought over by his son " Menyeis," the first baron. 
This book was published by Andreas Alciatus, at Basle, in 1552 ; at Venice, in 1553 ; 
and at Leyden, in 1608. All Mainus' other works are lost. He died at Mentz in 
1086. There was a MS. of his discovered at the Scottish Benedictines' Monastery 
at Ratisbon, which was brought to light in 1 864, on the suppression of the monastery 


THE "RED & WHITE'' BOOK OF MENZIES. [a.d. 1008-1086. 

by the Bavarian Government, and restored to Scotland after being in the possession 
of the monastery for 800 years. It may be said to be one of the most interesting 
manuscripts in Scotland. It comes next to the Book of Deer as to date, and is 
anterior to the celebrated Liber Ruber, which contains the ancient privileges of 
the Church of Glasgow. In his flight from the oppression of Macbeth, Mainus 
doubtless brought his son " Menyeis " with him, to save him from the usurper's 
vengeance. — Mackenzie's Scots Writers ; Soc. Antiquaries, Scot., 1876-7. 

Cbicf tbe " flDen^eis," tbe 38tb m>en3ies from fn>a\mu6, 
ano tbe 1st Baron of flDen3ies. 

A.D. IO43-II32. 

^ ■a %k ENYEIS was born about 1043, in the time of King Duncan. It was 

m \ \ ^^ during his reign that one of the Highland chiefs or thanes named 

*&. I il^^ " Banquho" (who is said to have been the founder of the House of 

Steward), made a rising in Lochaber, which Macbeth, being sent 

against by King Duncan, successfully put down. Macbeth was also sent to repel an 

invasion of the Norwegians, in which the Scottish arms were again victorious under 

him. Macbeth, now feeling his power, slew King Duncan, and usurped the throne 

of Scotland. For some time after being crowned he governed well, but ultimately his 

tyranny became so oppressive and cruel that many of the leading men of the realm, 

who detested the usurper, were driven out of Scotland or obliged to fly. Macbeth, 

having established and built his stronghold at Birnam near Dunkeld, which is only 

a few hours' ride from the lands of the Menzies', who seem to have suffered so much 

from him for their attachment to the house royal of Fergus, their great ancestor, 

that Mainus was obliged to fly to Germany (about 1058) with his son Menyeis, out 

of the reach of the tyrant Macbeth. It would appear that Menyeis, while an exile, 

hearing that Malcolm Canmore, who had taken refuge in England, was preparing, 

with the assistance of Macduff and other banished Scots, to attempt the recovery of 

his rightful crown and kingdom — Menyeis, apparently with the advice of his father, 

who was now devoted to study and the Church, at once joined Malcolm Canmore 

on his march to the north. Meantime Macbeth, having consulted the witches, was 

told " that he should not be conquered or lose the crown of Scotland until Birnam 

wood should come to Dunsinnan," where he had built his strong castle on the high 

hill overlooking Dunkeld and the whole valley of the Tay, the woods of Birnam 

being on the other side of the valley, and distinctly seen from the Castle of 

Dunsinnan. As Malcolm Canmore marched north through Scotland, he was joined 

by many of his friends and their followers, who only awaited the return of their 

banished chiefs. Thus Menyeis, on entering Perthshire, received the support of his 

kin and clan. When the army of Malcolm Canmore came to Birnam wood, they 

passed the night there. The next morning, before marching to attack Macbeth in 

his stronghold, Macduff suggested that every clansman should cut down the bough 

of a tree and carry it on high when crossing the broad valley, so as to hide the 

c 2 

20 THE "RED & WHITE" BOOK OF MENZIES. [a.u. 1043-1132. 

smallness of their numbers. From this circumstance many of the clans represented 
in Canmore's army claim their badges. Clan Menzies claim the mountain-ash or 
ash, otherwise the rowan tree, the dark green of which, with its red berries, gives the 
Menzies' the colours for their hunting tartan. In this way each clan could distinguish 
each other by the bough or badge they bore on that momentous day. On the 
approach of Canmore's army the sentinels, on seeing the enemy carrying the 
branches, ran and told Macbeth of the singular sight, saying that the wood of 
Birnam was moving towards his Castle of Dunsinnan. Calling the sentinels liars, 
he rushed to the walls and there saw the terrible sight, which at once let him know 
that the hour of his doom was come. However, he determined to die fighting 
bravely,- and sallied out at the head of those who would follow him, and fought 
furiously in the thickest of the fight until he and Macduff encountered each other, as 
is traditional. The united armies made a ring round the two great warriors of the 
age, each side urging Macbeth or Macduff on to greater prowess, until Macduff, by 
a mighty stroke, slew the tyrant. After the death of Macbeth — now so celebrated 
in song, story, play and poetry — good King Malcolm became the possessor of his 
rightful kingdom, and was crowned at Scope on the 30th April 106 1. Knowing 
well what hardships he had suffered, both from the tyrant and as an exile in a 
foreign land dispossessed of his rightful inheritance, and his followers having suffered 
the same for his cause, he, immediately after his coronation, reinstated those who 
had suffered on his behalf in their possessions. On the day he ascended the 
throne, the chroniclers record that — " He rewardid al tham that assistit to him 
aganis Macbeth with lands and office, and commandit that ilk man haif his office 
namet efter his surname ; he maid mony erlis, lordis, baronis, and knights." Among 
the barons who had their names for the first time made surnames was " Menyeis," 
as given by Boece, and " Mengeis " by Holinshead. From this date (the 30th 
April 1 061) dates the possession and foundation of Castle Menzies and the lands of 
Menzies as a barony, with the right of the chief of the Menzies' to use the designation 
de Menyeis, or "The Menzies" of that Ilk, otherwise Menzies of Menzies. This Menyeis 
was the first baron and warrior of the race. He died about 1132, and left a son, 
Anketillus Menyeis,his successor. This epoch is thus described by the poet -historian — 

" With Cokburne, Mar, and Abercromby, 
Myretoun, Mengeis, and also Leslie, 
Al thir surnamis that I haif schawin you heir 
Weill may ye wait withoutin ony weir, 
That tha tak part without any pley, 
Into that tyme again's thes Mackcobey, 
With gude Malcome of Scotland that wes king 
And for that caus, and for na vther thing 
Reicht greit rewardis to thame all he gaif." 

— Bulk of the Crofiikfes, Scotland, ver. 663. 




































"' a' 

a I 

tq 4 

E- ^ 

s- O 


A.D. IO43-II32.] 



On Scotland being restored to peace, Menyeis appears to have visited his 
father, and it is just possible that it was he who brought the book written by his 
father to Scotland — " Notitia Utriusque Imperii " — and which was lost sight of until 
1 571, when it appears to have been discovered at Castle Menzies, in which year, as 
recorded by the Chronicle of Fortingall, considerable repairs and alterations were 
done at Castle Menzies, and also indicated by the date sculptured on the moulding 
round the escutcheon above the ancient entrance to Castle Menzies. 

Cbief Hnftettllue flDapnoers, tbe 39tb from Iking flDainus, 
ano 2no Baron of fIDensies. 

Surnamed " The Restored." 

A.D. I 1 20 TO 1 1 90. 

HNKETILLUS MENYEIS, or Maynoers, was the son of the first Baron 
Menyeis, who had so nobly supported King Malcolm Canmore in 
recovering his kingdom and crown, and who, as a reward for his 
services, had the honour of being made one of the first Scottish barons, 
and had his lands erected into the Barony of Menyeis. Out of gratitude to God, 
for the restoration of his lands and the birth of a son, his father called him 
Anketilliis, meaning in Gaelic, The Restored, for he was apparently born to 
him in his advanced years. Thus his birth became a double source of 
restoration and thankfulness, to mark which, this first Christian name of 
the Menzies' speaks like the Menzies motto on one of the window-caps of old 
Castle Menzies, which says, " Prysit be God for Ever." Anketillus Menzies was 
born, probably from 11 10 to 11 20, in the time of King David I. On the death 
of his father, in the time of King William the Lion, he appears to have held some 
office under that monarch. It is at this period that his name is first met with in any 
of the now existing charter-records of private grants made under the Crown. 
Thus we find a charter of a donation, made by " Willielmus de Vetere Ponte," 
to the " Abbacy of Holyroodhouse, of the lands of Ogleface, in the shire of 
Linlithgow," "pro salute Domini meis Regis Williemi et Regince Emegardce" 
(translated " For a greeting to the Lord and Song which King William the King 
has given") — to this charter is the name of "ANKETILLUS DE Maynores" as a 
witness. He signs before the Lord High Chamberlain, showing that he was 
considered a noble connection of the King ; after him the Chamberlain, along with 
other Officers of State in the reign of King William the Lion. Nisbet says that in 
his time, about 1770, there was in the possession of Sir Robert Menzies other 
charters of this chief. It was this Scottish King who sent 5000 of a Scottish army 
to assist Richard the Lion in the Holy Land against the Saracens, and according to 
traditions this Chief of the Menzies', at the head of a number of his clansmen, 

A.D. I I 20-1 I90.] 

the restored:' 


formed part of that Scottish army. This may account for his name not appearing 
so frequently as his successors, as a witness to the few existing charters of the 
period. Doubtless, the tendency of the Menzies' — from their first progenitor, King 
Maynus, down to the 15th century — lay towards a religious turn of life ; Anketillus, 
therefore, like other knights and barons of the period, would join this Scottish army 
to war against the Infidel, from the religious tendencies of his race in the first place, 
and as one of the Scottish barons or knights in the second place. From these wars 
he may have returned towards the end of the reign of William the Lion, and had a 
son born to him about 1 170 to 1 177, who became Sir Robert Menzies, the Lord 
High Chamberlain of Scotland, and his successor, a position always given to those 
of royal descent in those days. 

Cbief Xoro IRobert tbe flDen3ies, 40tb from Iking fll>a\mu0, 
ano 3ro Baron of fIDen3ie6. 

Regent and Lord High Chamberlain of Scotland, 
a.d. 1 177-1266. 

Chamberlain of Scotland, and also one of the barons or magnets 



^fe^t^ of Scotland, called Magnets Scotia. He held the high and influential 
office of Lord High Chamberlain of Scotland for a continuous period 
of about fifty years, as will be seen from his name being attached to so 
many documents and charters connected with the national affairs of Scotland, 
a position which only those of royal descent or connection were exalted to, 
or permitted to hold. He was also intrusted with several embassies to 
England, duties which he discharged with great honour and commendation, both 
to his country and himself. His love for Scotland and her rights made him one 
of the most reliable patriots of his age. These qualities shone out brightly during 
the minorities of Alexander II. and Alexander III., to whom, during their reign, 
he steadfastly adhered ; and with great sagacity, as one of the regents or councillors 
of the young king's, assisted to steer Scotland through many dangers, both from 
internal foes and enemies across the borders. From his high position and 
influence in the national affairs of Scotland, he must have held all the vast tracts 
of land, afterwards granted from time to time to his descendants, by charter. 
These lands stretched far into Argyleshire, including " Mamlorn," Breadalbin, 
Glendochart, Glenurchy ; and in Athole — Loch Tay, then called " Discher 
and Toyer," Glenlyon, Glenquich, part of Strath Earn, all Strath Tay, or the 
Appin-na-Maynus, i.e. the Vale of the Mengyeis, with the lands of and lochs 
of Tummel, Ericht, Rannoch, and other places in Athole. With such a great 
extent of country, his followers and the clan must have been very numerous ; 
thus giving him the forces necessary to support the power he swayed in those 
days when might was right. 

Sir Robert was probably born about 1 177, and was, at a very early age, intro- 
duced to the Court of King William the Lion by his father, " Anketillus de 

a. d. 1 2 1 4- 1 2 1 7 .] L ORD HIGH CHAMBERLAIN OF SCOTLAND. 2 5 

Maynoers," who appears to have been one of the magnates of that monarch. We 
find Sir Robert of Mengyes in active office immediately on the accession to the 
throne of King Alexander II. in 12 14. When the king visited Edinburgh, on the 
1 ith September 12 14, he granted a charter in favour of the monks of Holyrood, 
and to which charter is appended the signature of " Robert De Meynrs." 

From Edinburgh the king and court went to Glasgow, and there in the month 
of October 12 14, the monks of Glasgow had a charter granted in favour of the 
Church of Glasgow, to which document is appended the name of " Robert de 
Meiyners," as one of the witnesses, along with others of the king's court. This was 
in the time of Bishop Walter of Glasgow, in whose time its Church became an 
establishment of considerable importance ; he being sent the next year, 1215, to a 
Grand Council held at Rome, along with the Bishops of Moray and Caithness. 

In the year 12 16, King Alexander II. seems to have visited Roxburgh, and 
there made further grants of favours to the Church and clergy in a charter, 
" Listerd Protections per Alexander II. Regens Willimo Espiscopo Glasguetisis, 
concessia, &c. &c., the witnesses to which are the Earl of Dunbar, another, and 
' Roberto de Meyners, Chamerico,' Lord High Chamberlain of Scotland, 
dated at Roxburgh, thirteenth day of April 12 16." On the 22nd April 12 16, 
Alexander II. visited Haddington, where he gave a charter confirming lands to the 
Priory of St Andrews, which document is witnessed, first by " Robt. the Meynis, 
Camer.," Lord High Chamberlain ; the fourth witness being " David de Meyners." 
Then, again, in the following year, he was present with the king as a witness to 
a charter of Alexander II., concerning the Baillie-ship of Lanark, Confirmacmo de 
mosplat in Baillia de Lanarc, attached to which is the name of " Robo de Meiners." 
This document is dated 7th February 1217. About this time a considerable 
difficulty arose between the Pope and Scotland. 

It is of interest to know that, on the 26th May 12 17, King Henry of England 
wrote to the Pope complaining of the canons of Carlisle, who, notwithstanding his 
excommunication, adhered to the Scottish king, and had elected an excom- 
municated clerk as their bishop, who, it is presumed, was a Scotsman ; and it is 
apparent that Sir Robert Menzies, from his high office of Lord Chamberlain of 
Scotland, was one of the supporters of the Scottish party at Carlisle, as this 
defiance, both of the Pope and the King of England, was backed up by the 
Government of Scotland, and the Scottish nobles and chiefs. — Shdvi. Lanark, 
p. 166, Regm., Glasgow, p. 15, vol. i. 

His name comes before us in this year again in the Errol Papers, p. 307, to 
a charter commencing as follows : — " Alexander, by the grace of God King of 
Scotland, to all men whom it may interest, saluteing them concerning the lands," 
&c, &c. Here follows a long charter, to which are subscribed the following names 
as witnesses : — " W. Comyn, Comite de Meneteth ; Alans Hostiaris, justicrais 

26 THE "RED & WHITE" BOOK OF MENZIES. [a.d. 1217-1232. 

Scocie ; Johanne de Bayol, et Roberto de Meyners, Cameraio," Lord High 
Chamberlain, at Schon on the 6th day of July, in the third year of the reign of 
Alexander II., 12 17. That Sir Robert the Menzies signed next to "Bayol," whose 
son was afterwards the renegade King of Scots, infers that the Menzies was of line 
royal ; only removed by a few generations, but coming next to the Baiolls, 
doubtless through their descent from Fergus, or Meynyne, who married Beatrice, 
daughter of King Malcolm, or a later marriage with daughters of the royal 

About the year 12 18, it would appear that Sir Robert Menzies was sent into 
England to arrange matters between the two countries regarding the rights of the 
Scottish Church at Carlisle. In this, it is recorded, he was completely successful in 
arranging affairs to the honour of Scotland. Shortly afterwards, as recorded by the 
old historians, the king sent a considerable force of Scottish knights and barons 
to assist the King of France in the Holy Land against the Infidel ; and one of 
those knights — who, with a section of gentlemen of Clan Menzies, helped to 
form the Scottish army of Crusaders — was Chief Sir Robert the Menzies, and 
Sir David of Menzies, with their clansmen. In proof of his absence in these wars, 
his name does not appear to any document at home until about the year 1231, so 
that he must have been away about ten years. After his return we find, in 
123 1, Sir Robert Menzies at the court then being held at Linlithgow Palace, where 
Alexander II. granted a charter to the Earl of Lennox, to which is affixed 
the name of" Roberto de Meiners," dated at Linlithgow, September 1231. 

As already indicated, Sir Robert Menzies was lord of large tracts of land in 
Argyle, Breadalbin, Strathern, Athole, &c. As such we find, as is recorded by 
Nisbet, that he granted a charter of the " Lands of Culdares to Matthcss de 
Moncrief pro homagis et sits" for his homage and service. This charter, or a 
copy of it, was preserved in the Charter Room of Castle Menzies, in the time of 
Sir Robert Menzies, the 3d baronet. The lands of Culdares still retain the 
name among the natives of Glenlyon as " Moncrief's land." From this time the 
Moncriefs became the vassals, or followers, of the Chiefs of Menzies, of whom they 
are probably a branch, the name being a corruption of Meyners. Among the 
witnesses to this document are the names of David de Meyners and Thomas de 
Meyners, who must have been the brothers of the Lord of Menzies. This Sir 
Thomas Menzies is also a witness to the confirmation to the Kirk of Melville, and 
to the Monastery of Dunfermline, by " Georgorius de Melvill," A.D. 125 1. 

In the year 1232, we find Sir Robert of Menzies a witness to a charter 
confirming a grant of land by the king to the then Earl of Athole, " terris de 
Imanth," &c. Along with other witnesses, we find his name affixed thus — 
"Roberto de Meyniss," dated 1232. — Reg. Coupar, A3., p. 333, vol. i. Two years 
afterwards, in connection with the Church of Glasgow, we find Sir Robert Menzies 


at Roxburgh, and there, in the presence of Alexander II., witnessing a charter in 
the month of October 1234, to which his name is thus appended — "Roberto de 

The founder of what is known as " King James's Hospital," in Perth, was 
Alexander II., as is shown by ancient documents belonging to the hospital, who 
founded it as a monastery ; and the oldest document now in the collection, is a 
writ granted by that king at Forfar, on the 31st October 1241, addressed to the 
Provosts of Perth, wherein he commands them to pay from his farm of Perth 
yearly to the friars preachers of Perth a certain proportion of the income from it, 
&c. There are three witnesses to this document, and one of them is " Robert of 

It looks as if King Alexander II. had stayed at Forfar with his court during 
the winter, for we find him in the spring of 1242 at Forfar granting a charter to 
"Walter de Normanville ;" and of the witnesses to this document are the names of 
" Alexandra Cumyn, William de Marr, Robert de Meyneres," and others, granted 
at Forfar, 8th April 1242 — Diocese of Aberdeen, p. 109, vol ii. Then we find, in the 
year 1244, Alexander II. again grants further favours to the Kirk, &c, of Glasgow, 
in a charter dated 3rd February 1 244, to which is attached the name of " Robo de 
Meiners " as one of the witnesses ; following it, we find Sir Robert Menzies at the 
court, then being held at Holyrood, where, on the 7th June 1244, the same king 
granted to the monks of Perth, totam illani placeam in qua fuit gardinum nostrum 
also ut habeant conductum agues de Strangno molendini uxtri de Perth, habentem in 
quadram quator pollices. The witnesses to this writ are : William, Bishop of 
Glasgow, Chancellor ; William, Earl of Mar ; Alexander Cumyn, &c. ; and " Robert 
of Meyners," at Holyrood. This document is still preserved in the charter-chest of 
King James's Hospital, Perth. 

In this same year, 1244, the King of Scots, to implement a promise to the 
King of England, his brother-in-law, to aid him in his contest with the Irish 
malcontents, allowed a large number of his leading nobles to come under the 
following obligation in the form of an oath, which was taken by the Earls Patrick 
and Walter Cumin, viz., " That they were neither of council or aid when, on their 
part, any people were sent to attack, or lay waste, the King of England's land in 
Ireland, or elsewhere, to the king's dishonour, or ever received any of his enemies," 
&c. The knights who have sworn with "Earl Patric " and " Earl Walter Cumyn " — 
here follows a long list of knights, &c, among whom is the name of " Robert de 
Bruce," and " Robert de Mayneres " ; and relative to the same matter, the chief Sir 
Robert the Menzies was chosen one of the jurors, as we find by an additional list 
of those appointed jurors with the " Earl Patric " and " Walter the Earl " Cumyn. 
On the latter list is the name of " Robert de Mayneres." — Cal. doc. re Scot., p. 552, 
vol. i. Also in his capacity as a juror, in these international affairs, Sir Robert the 

23 THE "RED & WHITE" BOOK OF MENZIES. [a.d. 1245-1248. 

Menzies discharged his duty to the credit of Scotland, and the issue was brought to 
a satisfactory close. 

About the year 1245, Alexander the Second conferred further grants of lands 
upon the priory of Saint Andrews, to which are the names, as witnesses, of Wilto 
de Ramefay, Vicount of Forfar, and Dno Rob de Maynerf i.e., Lord Robert 
the (Mayners) Menzies. 

In a transcript of a charter in the reign of Alexander II., in the year 1247, 
entitled Transumptum Carte Alexandri Regis, &c, &c, to Roberto de Waluchop, one 
of those who are witness to this document is " Roberto de Meniers," dated 6th 
October 1247, at Roxburgh. — Shires of Aberdeen and Banff, p. 338, vol. iii. 

It is very astonishing to find the great change that has now come over many 
places in Scotland, and in no place more wonderful than Roxburgh, since the 
time that Lord Robert the Menzies was there to attend to the duties of his high 
office of Lord High Chamberlain of Scotland. Roxburgh was at that time one of 
the largest towns in Scotland, if not the largest — it was certainly larger and of 
greater importance even than Edinburgh ; now there is not a stone of it left, even 
the site of where it stood is very uncertain, the present village which bears its 
name being on a different site altogether. At this time, and during the reign of 
William the Lion, it had its Provost and Bailies, held its seal as a burgh, and was 
a royal place of coinage, with a weekly market and an annual fair. 

On the 27th of February 1248, at " Kinclenin," King Alexander II. granted a 
charter to the Abbey of Coupar, to which is the name of " Roberto de Meyneiss " 
as witness, along with the Earl of Buchan. — Reg. Cupar. Ab., p. 326, vol i. 

It was Alexander the Second who first introduced government by Parliaments 
into Scotland. The first Scottish Parliament was held at Berwick in the year 1248, 
and of those who had the honour of being one of the first Scottish members of 
Parliament was Sir Robert of Menzies. From this first beginning what wondrous 
changes has been wrought in Scotland and Britain in the government of the 
country by the representatives of all classes of the people, and our now established 
Parliaments ! From this first Scottish Parliament a long line of Menzies' appear 
on the Parliamentary Rolls, down to the last Parliament held in Scotland before 
the Union in 1707 ; after which the Parliaments held in London do not appear to 
have had almost if any attraction or charm to the Menzies', as few have sat in the 
London House, or even aspired to it. Much different was it with the Scottish 
Parliaments, however, in the days of yore. 

It was about the beginning of April 1248 that Alexander II. held the first 
Parliament at Berwick, at which he passed several Acts ; at the close of the VHIth 
Act it is attested by the names of Robert de Ros, David de Graham, " Roberto de 
Manrijs" (Menzies). Again these same names occur to the laws passed at the 
same Parliament of Berwick, where they on the 8th April 1248 passed the IXth Act 


of the Scottish Parliaments, at the end of which are attached the names of 
" Roberto de Ros, David de Graham, Roberto de Meinerf " (Menzies), and a list 
of other names follow these first three. — Acts Par. Scot., p. 79, vol. i. 

The deliberations of the king and the Scottish Parliament at Berwick lasted 
for a considerable period, for we find from Act X. the Parliament still at Berwick 
on the 13th of April 1248, where we have "Roberto de Ros, David de Graham, 
and Roberto de Meiners" (Menzies), present, and, with others, signing the Acts then 
passed as becoming law. — Acts Par. Scot., p. So, vol. i. 

In the same year Alexander II. held a Parliament at Stirling. At this 
Parliament " Robert de Mengys " (Menzies) also had a seat. These Parliaments of 
Alexander II. become exceedingly interesting when we know that they are the first 
Parliaments we have any record of ; and among those who sat in them, as 
men of light and leading at the time, was Lord Robert Menzies the Chief. The 
record of this Parliament is as follows, abridged, Act XV. : — " The Year of Grace 
1248, &c.j in the month of May, Alexander, King of Scotland, sat at Stirling before 
al great men, as underwritten, that is to say, William, Bishop of Glasgow, Chancelor 
of Scotland, 'Robert de Bruys,' ' Robert the Ros,' 'John the Wallace,' ' Robert of 
Mengys,' and mony otheris that, frae this time furth, nane athis be maid of tynfal 
(title) of lyfe or of lym of na land haldan man no of greaytmen, bot trough lele men 
of gud fame fre haldan be Chartir." — Acts Par. p. 74, vol. i. 

In this year Alexander the Second died, and his son succeeded him as 
King Alexander III. of Scotland. He was only about nine years of age, and Lord 
Robert Menzies is said to have been " re-appointed, on the accession of Alexander 
the Third, 8th July 1249," as Lord High Chamberlain of Scotland. — Ex. Rolls, 
Scot., p. xxi., vol. ii. This great State office of Lord High Chamberlain, or 
Chancellor, was held by the most intimate friend, usually a relative of the king, 
who acted as his counsellor and adviser in all State matters, and generally was the 
witness to the charters, letters, and proclamations of the king. 

On the 16th of October 1248 we find that David of Menzies, one of the 
brothers of Lord Robert de Meingys, has a safe passport, granted to him by 
the King of England, to pass through that country on business of importance 
connected with Scotland. The pass reads as follows : — " David de Meynners, 
knight, and others of the Queen of Scotland's retinue, whom she may wish to 
send to Farance, for her niece, the daughter of the Count of Sesson (Soissons), have 
letters of safe conduct till twenty days after Christmas next. Westminster." — 
Cal. Doc. re Scot., p. 333, vol. i. This embassy, as it may be styled, Sir David of 
Menzies discharged with great honour and commendation to his country and the 
satisfaction of all Scotsmen. 

Chief Lord Robert the Menzies, from his high office of Lord High 
Chamberlain of Scotland, must have been at the coronation of Alexander III. 

3o THE "RED &• WHITE" BOOK OF MENZIES. [a.d. i 251-125 5. 

at Scone, as, shortly after that event, we find the King still at Scone, and 
there renewing the favours granted by his father to the •monks, &c, of Perth, 
which are still retained by King James's Hospital of Perth. Thus : — By a 
writ addressed to his Provosts of Perth, dated Scone, 31st May 125 1, King 
Alexander III. renews the grants made by his father of a cake of wax for 
lighting the church of the monks on the day of the Nativity of St John the 
Baptist, and also enjoins an additional payment out of his farms of Perth. The 
witnesses were : " Robert of Ross," " Robert of Meyners," " Chamberlain," and 
others. — Rept. Doc. St James Hos., Perth, p. 713. 

Lord Robert the Menzies, in the beginning of the same year, seems to have 
been at Arbroath along with the king, for, on the 17th of February 125 1, he 
is a witness to a charter there, in his office of Lord High Chamberlain. — 
Chartulary oj Arbroath, p. 190. And again, on the 19th August 125 1, he is 
a witness to another charter. — See Charter in General Register House. 

The evils attending the minority of a sovereign are notorious, and that 
was the position of Scotland at this time. During Alexander III.'s nonage 
Scotland was harrassed by the contests of the great nobles for the guardianship 
of their king, in which King Henry III. of England took an active interest, 
siding with the party of which Earl Patric, Robert de Brus (the future competitor 
for the crown of Scotland), the High Steward, Lord Robert the Menzies, and others 
were the leading spirits, and were styled " The King's friends ; " the opposition — 
consisting of the Comyns, John de Balliol, and others — being styled " The Queen's 
gainsayers " or rebels. 

About this time the young king seems to have been at the then important 
town of Roxburgh, and there he granted letters of protection to William, Bishop 
of Glasgow, and others. To this document is attached the signature of " Roberto de 
Meyrs " (Menzies), " Chamerar," Lord High Chamberland, dated at Roxburgh, in 
the month of April 125 1, in the reign of Alexander III. — Reg. Glas., p. 162, vol. i. 

It will be seen from the above that, notwithstanding the intrigues going on in 
the court and country, the young King of Scots and his guardians and advisers, 
called " The king's friends " — one of whom was Lord Robert Menzies — were 
able to discharge their duties, although under difficulties, to their subjects with 
a firm hand, keeping the country from the demon of civil war, which the Baliol and 
Comyn faction were anxious to drive it into. This William, the Bishop of Glasgow, 
was one of the king's friends, and during his time made considerable donations to 
the Cathedral of Glasgow out of his own liberality. 

Matters went thus with the country of Scotland, which at this time was 
divided into parties, when, on the 10th August 1255, the King of England sent the 
following to the young king's party : — " The king accredits the said Earls and 
others, or any two of them, ' his beloved friends,' ' Patric, Earl of Dunbar,' &c, 


' Robert de Brus,' ' Alexander, the Steward of Scotland,' ' Walter de Murrevya ' 
(Murray), ' Robert de Mesneres ' (Menzies) — here follows a list of the other 
regents — " and all others who shall adhere to him in opposition to those Scots ; who 
have caused, or shall presume to cause, damage to Alexander, King of Scotland, 
or his (the king's) friends and adherents ; or who shall be gainsayers (rebelles) of 
his dearest daughter, Margaret, Queen of Scotland, whose condition the king 
intends to redress in good faith. The king gives full power to his envoys, or 
any two, to provide full security for his friends and adherents in the business in all 
convenient modes, promising to hold their acts firm and shure." — Cal. Eng. Doc. re 
Scot, p. 381, vol. i. 

The troubles of Scotland increasing, King Henry III. of England summoned 
his army to the Borders, and, at the same time, declared his pacific intentions 
towards Scotland and his zeal for its liberties. In September 1255, his son-in-law, 
Alexander III. of Scotland, and daughter, met him at Werk castle; and 
at Roxburgh, on 20th September, Alexander appointed certain of " The king's 
friends " as regents and guardians of the queen and himself, to hold office till his 
majority, which was approved of by Henry, who seems to have been only a few 
miles off on his own side of the Border. The letter informing Henry of the 
arrangements runs thus : — " The king (of England) having received letters from 
Alexander, King of Scotland, dated at Roxburgh, 20th September, seventh year of 
his reign, 1255, stating that, 'The King of Scotland declares that at the instance of 
his father-in-law, Henry, and the council of his own magnates,' of Scotland " — here 
follows a list of the magnates of Scotland, of whom are " Alexander, the Steward 
of Scotland," " Robert the Brus," and " Robert de Meyners " (Menzies), who stands 
fourteenth on the list, and is followed by " William de Duneglas" (Douglas), and 
others, after whom comes a list of other barons whom Alexander had removed from 
office, who were " Walter Comyn," " John de Bayllol," and all their set from 
his council and their offices, " in consequence of their demerits," &c. — and, " He had 
ordained that Richard and Peter, Bishops of Dunkeld and Aberdeen, the Earls of 
Fyfe, Dunbar, Stratherne, and Carrik, Alexander, the Steward of Scotland, Robert 
de Brus, Alan Durward, Walter de Moraira, David de Lindeseie, William de Brechin, 
' Robert de Meyners,' Gilbert de Hay, and Hugh Giffard, should be appointed of 
his council, regents of the kingdom, and guardians of himself and his queen ; 
that they should not be removed from the council of their offices, except for 
manifest demerit, for seven years complete, beginning from the feast of St 
Cuthbert, 14th September 1255," &c. — Cal. Doc. re Scot., p. 386, vol. i. The 
Chief, Lord Robert the Menzies, as a regent, with the other officers of State, 
being thus appointed, apparently so far settled the troubles of Scotland ; 
immediately after which the King and Queen of Scotland visited England till 
about the midsummer of 1256. 

32 THE "RED 6~ WHITE" BOOK OF MENZTES. [vd. 1255-1258. 

The Parliamentary rolls of the first Parliament of King Alexander III., held at 
Roxburgh, dated 20th September 1255, also record the name of " Roberti de 
Meyeins," as being present there on that date, along with a long list of others 
from all parts of Scotland. He is mentioned in two places in the record, in the 
second place the name being spelt " Robtus de Meyners." — Acts Par. Scot., 
p. 17, vol. i. 

King Henry III. sent an escort to accompany the royal Scottish pair to visit 
him in England, which is thus recorded : — "September 21, 1255. The king having 
sent the Earl of Gloucester and John Maunsel to bring the King and Queen of 
Scotland to treat personally with him of their comfort ; and these faithful envoys 
having found the Scottish king's councillors not only gainsayers of the English 
king's command, but useless and grievous to their own lord, had therefore allied 
themselves with the Earls of Fife, Dunbar, Stratherne, Carrick, Robert de Brus, 
Alexander, the Steward of Scotland, ' Robert de Meyners,' and others, by whose 
advice the King and Queen of Scotland came to him on the above visit," &c. ; 
" and promises to the said nobles, if molested for that reason, his protection and 
succour against the said gainsayers and their accomplices. Also to make no peace 
with them without the consent of the above nobles, who, on their part, shall make 
none without him." — Eng. Cal. Doc. re Scot., p. 388, vol. i. This extract shows that 
Lord Robert the Menzies was acknowledged in rank one of the highest of the 

Dissensions again arose in Scotland. The queen-mother (Mary de Coucy) 
and her second husband, John de Brienne (or Acre), came to Scotland, and, in 
spite of their oath, joined the party of the Comyns. In July 1257, Henry 
sent envoys to promote peace ; but, shortly afterwards, the Comyn faction seized 
the young king and queen at Kinross, and, in Alexander the Third's name, 
drew an army towards the English border. Some of " The king's friends " fled 
to England ; but Lord Robert the Menzies, like a true patriot, kept close to 
the king's person, along with some other faithful chiefs. On learning of the 
changed aspect of affairs, Henry collected an army in England to rescue the 
young king, and was approaching the Scottish border when, at this juncture, 
a negotiation took place, in consequence of which a new regency was established, 
among these being Lord Robert the Menzies. This new set of governors for 
Scotland was approved by King Henry, as will be seen by the following record : — 
''6th November 1258. The king promises to William, Bishop of St Andrews, 
John de Acre, Mary, Queen (dowager), his spouse, Walter Comyn, Earl of 
Menteith, Alexander Comyn, Earl of Buchan, William, Earl of Mar, Alexander, 
the Steward of Scotland, Alan Durward, Robert de Meyners, and Gilbert de 
Hay, who have assumed the government of Scotland, that so long as they 
conduct the affairs of State according to God and justice, the honour and 


advantage of the King and Queen of Scotland, and the old laws and customs 
of that realm, he will afford his council and aid when required. But if they, 
or any of them, err in any matter, and do not ammend the same within three 
months after receipt of the king's requisition, he shall be free from his obligation, 
— Westminster." Also, under the same date, King Henry sends another writ, 
similar to the above, showing the king's anxiety to settle the affairs of Scotland, 
even though some of the opposite party had been admitted as regents. One 
of these writs is as follows: — "6th November 1258. The king to William, 
Bishop of St Andrews, John de Acre, Mary, Queen of Scotland, spouse of the 
said John, Alexander, Earl of Buchan, William, Earl of Mar, Alexander, the 
Stewart of Scotland, Alan Durward, Robert de Meyneris, and Gilbert de Hay, 
councillors of the King of Scotland, so long as they conduct the affairs of that 
kingdom according to God and justice," and the " laws and customs of the realm 
hitherto in force. But if any of them offend, the king is to be bound no longer." — - 
Eng. Cal. Doc. re Scot, p. 418. 

With the above is " A letter from King Henry," in the form of a schedule 
appended, the messengers being friars. It says, " and the two friars are to get 
another letter under the King of Scotland's seal if possible," and they are " to 
be enrolled when they arrive," and for this purpose two friars " are sent with 
letters of credence from the King of England to the King and Queen of 
Scotland," and " their Councillors," of whom Baron Robert Menzies was one of the 
oldest and ablest at this time, certainly one of the most powerful; for when the 
Comyns seized the person of Alexander III., Lord Robert the Menzies was 
powerful enough to stand by the king, and see that no harm was done to his 
person, while the other regents of Scotland fled into England. The Clan Menzies 
and their following must have been very numerous and powerful at this period, 
otherwise their Chief, Lord Robert the Menzies, could not have taken such a high 
stand, and exercised such an influence as he did. 

Lord Robert the Menzies, as one of the Scottish Regents and Lord High 

Chamberlain of Scotland under Alexander II. and III., must have been a man 

of high education and scholastic attainments, as his forefathers were. He, 

doubtless, received his learning at the Menzies College of Dull, being thus 

qualified to overlook and check the revenue, and other matters of a like nature 

connected with the State. He was appointed to audit the accounts of the 

Scottish Bishops connected with the crown, and their churches. We have a 

remaining proof of his capacity in this respect by an entry in the Old 

Exchequer Rolls of Scotland, in the year 1 266, where we find " Lord Robert 

the Menzies appointed auditor of accounts." The entry in the record translated 

runs somewhat thus : — " In like manner this is a memorandum of the audit, 

instituted into the accounts of William, Bishop of St Andrews, Richard, Bishop 


34 THE "RED &> WHITE" BOOK OF MENZIES. [a.d. 1266. 

of Dunkeld, the Abbots of Dunfermlling, Lindoris, the St Cruce, Scona, and 
of Cuper, by R. de Meyneris and Joannes de Cambrum, witness," etc. — Ex. Rolls 
Scot., p. 11, vol. i. The record of such entries shows how careful and business-like 
the affairs of the crown were managed by Lord Menzies in his time. It almost 
sounds quite modern, to read of audits being instituted in these old times, 
including a memorandum passing the Churchmen's accounts as correct. 

In the year 1266 King Alexander III. visited Inverness, where, as had 
been arranged, he met King Magnus IV. of Norway, for the purpose of 
arranging a treaty between the two countries. Among those Scottish statesmen 
who were there with Alexander III. as his advisers, was Lord Robert the 
Menzies, then designated " a Baron." Matters were adjusted in the most friendly 
manner between the two kings and their advisers, of which it is recorded that 
on the 6th July 1266, "a treaty was executed between King Alexander III. of 
Scotland and Magnus IV., King of Norway," and to this treaty is the name 
of " Robert de Meygneris, a Baron," appended as one of the Scottish statesmen 
attesting the deed. This same treaty was afterwards confirmed and renewed 
by King Robert the Bruce of Scotland and King Harquin V. of Norway, and 
executed at Inverness on the 28th day of October 131 2. — Robertson's Index of 
Charters, 101. 

Lord Robert the Menzies, after a long and glorious life of active service in 
the interest of Scotland, in which, during the great troubles and difficulties of the 
minorities of Alexander II. and III., through which he stood by Scotland in 
her dangers a true patriot and statesman, he at last, at a good old age, died some 
time near the latter end of the year 1266. His death is recorded by Fordoun 
in his " Scotichronicon," 1 x. c. 21, as having taken place in 1266. He left a 
son, Sir Alexander the Menzies, his successor, and also two brothers — 1st, Sir 
David of Menzies, who was with him at Haddington, 22nd April 12 16, &c, &c. ; 
2nd, Sir Thomas of Menzies — he is a witness to the charter of lands to Moncrieff 
in 125 1, &c. 















Chief lEarl Hleranoer tbe flDe^eners, tbe 4lst in oescent from 
flDa\mu6, 4tb Baron of flDen3ies. 

Acknowledged as Earl Menzies in an Act of Parliament of 
Scotland, on the 29TH October 13 12, at Inverness. 

a.d. 1235-1320. 

CHIEF SIR ALEXANDER THE MENZIES of Menzies, on the death 
of his father, Sir Robert the Menzies, in the year 1266, succeeded to the 
lands of that " Potent Chief," and the possessions of his ancestors. 
Scotland at that time was under a wise and prudent ruler, Alexander III., 
to whom his father was one of the regents during his minority, and also acted 
as one of the councillors and advisers in the affairs of State ; and, as the custom 
was, the king renewed the charters held by his father, Sir Robert, to him, and 
that through the representative of the Crown in Perthshire, the Earl of Athol. 
This charter practically confirms their having always held the Lands of Weem, 
Aberfeldy, etc., and is still in the possession of Sir Robert Menzies, Bart., in 
his Charter Room, at Castle Menzies, and reads as follows : — " Ancient Charter 
by John Earl of Athole (as acting for King Alex. III.), son and heir of David, 
Earl of Athole, in favour of Sir Alexander de Meyners, son and heir of 
umquhile (deceased) Sir Robert de Meyners and his heirs, for his homage and 
service of all the granter's land of Weem and Abyrfeally-beg," Aberfeldy, " in 
Atholl, extending to three davachs of land, with the pertinents, under reservation 
to the granter and his heirs of the patronage of the church of Weem. To be 
held for payment to the earl and his heirs of one penny sterling, yearly, at 
Whitsunday, and for rendering the king forinsec service pertaining to so much 
land, and one suit at the granter's court at Rath, in Athole." — Charter Room of 
Castle Menzies, No. 1. 

Sir William Fraser says : " This charter is without date, but belongs to the 
same period with the Ragman Roll," 1296 (or earlier), "as the name of the 
granter and witnesses prove. These latter are : — Sir John de Inchemartyn, Sir 
John de Cambrun, Sir Archibald de Levyngistoun, Sir Robert de Cambrun de 

Balemely, Sir Laurence de Strathbolgyn, Sir William Olifard, and Sir Henry de 

D 2 

36 THE "RED & WHITE" BOOK OF MENZIES. [a.d. 1266-1267. 

Inchmartyn, Knights;" but 1296 is too late a date, for it is scarcely possible, as 
in 1296 Sir Alexander Menzies was with the Scottish army on the Borders, 
and was there taken prisoner, at the siege of Dunbar, by Edward I. of England, 
who sent him to the Tower of London in chains, where he was imprisoned. 
It is therefore clear that it must have been given on his succeeding to the 
estates of his ancestors, by the king's command, through the Earl of Athol, 
as his representative in that part of the Highlands, and on the death of his 
illustrious father, Sir Robert the Menzies, the Lord High Chamberlain of 
Scotland, in 1266; for, observe, the charter says " and for rendering the King 
forinsec service" etc. This clause in the charter clearly shows that King 
Alexander III. was alive when the charter was granted, and therefore makes 
it at any rate much earlier than the Ragman Roll period, and not later than 
1286, as Alexander III. was killed in 1286 by his horse running over the cliffs 
at Kinghorn, in Fife, on a dark night, which cut this good king's reign short. 
This ancient charter of the Menzies' must have been granted much earlier than 
has been given, and therefore we may put its date down with confidence as 1266 
or 1267, when Sir Alexander Menzies got possession of the Menzies' estates 
on the death of his father, Lord Robert the Menzies, who, as we have seen, 
possessed vast estates, according to charter and tradition at this date, all 
afterwards confirmed by charter. The above included a great stretch of land, 
including Glenlyon, of which it has been said " the oldest knowen name of 
Glenlyon is Crom-ghleann-ncin-clach, that is, ' the crooked Glen of the Stones.' " 
It was so called from the old circular forts which abounded in it, and of which 
there were twenty or twenty-one in the parish. Of these it is said that a 
dozen of them were in this glen. It is a general opinion with believers in 
Ossian, that these forts were the castles of Fingal's heroes. One of them is 
called Caisteal an Deirg, the Castle of Darg, one of those heroes whose grave 
is at Derculich. Their antiquity is attested by their having been built of dry 
stones, without mortar or cement of any kind, and they must have been strong 
fortresses. Their walls are generally eight feet thick, and built of stones, many 
of which it would tax all our mechanical appliances to move and lay — the 
diameter of some of the towers within walls being sixty feet. This confirms 
what has been written as the works of King Maynus, the great progenitor of 
Clan Menzies, the Siol na Meinerich. Many of the names of places, although 
not mentioned in detail in these early charters, are all included within the 
ancient district or parish of Weem, such as the lands of Disher and Toyer, 
Crannich, Lochtay, a great part of Glenlyon, and many other places forming 
the complete barony of Weem. 

Duneaves, Culdares, and Chesthill all lie in Glenlyon, and their connection 
with the highly historic families of Menzies is shown in the following note of 

a.d. 1 267-1 290.] EARL MENZIES. 37 

Ferguson to the Queen's visit : " Duneaves with the lands of Culdares formed 
part of the possessions of Sir Alexander Menzies, the friend and strenuous 
supporter of King Robert the Bruce. His marriage with the sister of Walter, 
Lord High Steward of Scotland, the husband of Marjory, daughter of King 
Robert, brought him into close alliance with the sovereigns, and added greatly 
to his honour and consequence. One of his ' predecessors ' gave a grant of 
Duneaves' Tenaiffs ' and Culdares to Moncrieff of that Ilk,' as we have seen, in 
whose family these lands remained for several centuries. In 1587 they were 
held by William Moncrieff of that Ilk, who afterwards sold them, when a 
number of years afterwards they became once more the property of the Menzies' 
of Culdares and Megernie, when, after changing hands again and again, they 
passed to the late John Stewart Menzies of Chesthill, in right of his mother as 
heiress of these lands." — Historic Scenes of Perthshire, p. 43. 

In the time of King Alexander III., about the year 1270, there appears to 
have been a strong feeling in favour of the Crusades, in Scotland, at which time 
many chiefs left to join the Holy War. It is a matter of tradition that 
several of the chiefs of the Menzies' were Crusaders, and we find the King of 
England granting free passes through England to Crusaders from Scotland, 
mention being made that David, Earl of Athol, Richard and Robert de Brus, 
with other knights, of whom Sir Alexander Menzies must have been one, 
went through England in 1270. Being thus abroad in the Holy Land 
fighting the Saracen, his name is not found in State affairs until his return, 
when we find him attending the Parliament held at " Briggeham," 17th March 
1289. At this Parliament of " Margarete," Queen of Scotland, appears the name 
of Alexander the Menzies. The name occurs about the middle of the long list 
of nobles who were assembled there, and is spelt Alifaundre de Metiers in 
the records of that great Parliament, which was to have so much to do with 
the future of Scotland. — Acts Pa?: Scot., p. 84, vol. i. 

We again get a glimpse of him at the final settlement for the marriage of 
the Queen, at Salisbury, on the 6th November 1289. On this date, "The 
Treaty of Salisbury, with the terms of the marriage of the Queen of Scotland 
with Edward, son of the King of England, was drawn up and sanctioned by 
the Pope on the 16th of November 1289, and confirmed by the Parliament of 
Brigham, March 14th, 1290." As recorded, it reads — "To all those who shall see 
or hear this letter, William, Bishop of St Andrews, and Robert, Bishop of 
Glasgow," etc. Here follows a long list of witnesses, among whom are the names 
of Robert de Brus, Nichole de Graham, Simon Frasel, Patrike de Graham, Guillaume 
de Duglas, Alisandre de Meyners, and many other " barons, saluz en nostre 
pardurablc." " Know : ye that we have confirmed the affair lately treated of, and 
decided at Salisbury respecting the settlement of the estate of our dear Lady, 

3 8 THE "RED 6- WHITE" BOOK OF MENZIES. [a.d. 1290-12 96. 

the Lady Margaret, Queen and Princess of Scotland, and of her realm, in the 
presence of the noble Prince, in Edward by the Grace of God, King of England, 
in form which and for the greater security and stability of the things above 
we have put our seals to these letters, dated at Brigham, the Tuesday next 
after the feast of St Gregory, in the year of our Lord 1289." — Eng. His. Docs., 
III. Scot., p. 105, vol. i. 

The Scottish Parliament again met at Brigham on the 14th May 1290, and 
there, along with the other nobles of Scotland, we find Sir Alexander the 
Menzies at the " Confirmation by the Scottish Parliament at Brigham of the 
Treaty of Salisbury," to which his name is appended, " Alisaundre de Meyners," 
along with a long list of other names, of whom are " Brus " and Duglas, " Barons 
salnz en nostre Seignor pardurable." — Doc. III. Hist. Scot., p. 130, vol. i. 

After all had been settled for the marriage of Queen Margaret of Scotland 
with the son of Edward I. of England, both nations awaited the arrival of the 
Queen of Scotland from Norway ; and when, in September 1 290, news arrived of 
the death of the young queen at Orkney, who was only in her eighth year, its 
announcement struck terror, sorrow, and despair into the heart of the kingdom. 
William Fraser, Bishop of St Andrews, was the first to send the news to Edward I., 
and, like a traitor, advise him to come to Scotland. Edward took the cue, and at 
once claimed the office of superior judge, in deciding the competition for the crown 
of Scotland. Hereafter followed all the low intrigues of Edward I., which 
ultimately put John Baliol on the throne of Scotland. During this time Sir 
Alexander the Menzies is not mentioned in any of these negotiations, but he, with 
other patriots, was preparing for the worst. He appears to have gone to the 
fastnesses of his Highland domains ; and there, in 1296, on the news that Edward 
was on his way to invade Scotland, he assembled by the Fiery Cross the Clan 
Menzies, with his other followers, and lost no time in joining the Scottish army on 
the Borders. The great move of Edward in this invasion was to rush upon the 
town of Berwick before the Scottish army could come ^to its assistance, and by a 
ruse throw the citizens off their guard. In this he was successful, and Berwick fell 
a prey to his ferocity ; for, by his orders, his brutal soldiers fell upon and massacred 
the whole citizens of Berwick, when no less than 17,000 persons, of all sects, young 
and old, were butchered. He burnt the churches, and plundered all he could lay 
hands on. On news of these horrid deeds reaching the Scottish chiefs, they, 
burning for revenge, at once set the Scottish army in motion, when Sir Alexander 
Menzies, at the head of Clan Menzies and his followers, with the other leaders of 
the Scottish army, crossed the English border into England, where, with merciless 
severity, they ravaged Redesdale and Tynedale, carrying away a great booty. The 
flames of the towns and villages taken, with the ancient monasteries of Lanercost 
and Hexham, marked the destructive progress of the Scottish army, and, loaded 

ad. 1296.] EARL MENZIES. 39 

with the spoils of their victorious expedition, they returned across the border. The 
Castle of Dunbar, at this time, was one of the strongest and most important 
fortresses in Scotland — its lord, Patrick, Earl of Dunbar, served on the side of 
Edward ; but his wife, the Countess, who hated the English like a true Celt, entered 
into a secret negotiation with the Scottish leaders to deliver it into their hands, when 
the Earls of Ross, Athole, Menteith, Sir Alexander the Menzies, and other leaders, 
with a strong force, threw themselves into the castle and expelled the soldiers 
who remained faithful to England. Edward, on hearing of the loss of this great 
stronghold, at once determined on its recovery at all hazards ; and for this purpose 
sent the Earl of Surrey with 10,000 foot and 1000 heavy armed horse, who besieged 
the castle with all their power for a considerable time, and ultimately got the 
defenders to agree to surrender in three days if not relieved. The Scots, anxious 
to retain so important a place, led their army to its relief, but were defeated with 
great loss. The next day Edward came in person with the rest of his army of 
about 40,000 men to Dunbar. Against such a force, numbering in all about 50,000 
men, it was impossible to hold out, with no hope of relief ; when the castle 
surrendered, and Sir Alexander the Menzies was made a prisoner. The following 
is a description of these events, as recorded in the English documents relating to 
Scotland : — 

" March 25. In the 24th year of the reign of King Edward (I.) of England, 
Easter day fell on the day of Announciation of our Lady (March 25, 1296). On the 
Wednesday in Easter week, being the twenty-eighth day of March, the before-named 
King Edward passed the river of Tweed with 5000 armed horse, and 30,000 
footmen, and lay that night in Scotland at the Priory of Coldstream, and the 
Thursday at Hutton (March 29, 1296), and on the Friday (March 30) he took the 
town of Berwick-upon-Tweed, by force of arms, without tarrying. On the same 
day Sir William Douglas, who was within the castle, surrendered it ; and the king 
lay that night in the castle, and his people in the town, each person in his house 
which he had taken ; and the king remained there nearly a month. 

" On the day of St George (24th April), news came to the King of England 
that they of Scotland had besieged the Castle of Dunbar (in this Scottish army 
was Alexander Menzies, ' Meyners,' one of the guardians of Scotland), which 
belonged to the Earl Patrick, who held strongly with the King of England. It 
was upon a Monday (23rd April) that the king sent his troops to raise the siege. 
Before they came there the castle had surrendered, and they of Scotland were 
within. When the troops of the King of England came there, they besieged the 
castle with three hosts on the Tuesday (April 26th) that they arrived before it. 
On the Wednesday (April 24th), they who were within sent out privately ; and on 
the Thursday and Friday (26th April) came the host of Scotland all the afternoon 
to have raised the siege of the Englishmen. And when the Englishmen saw the 

40 THE "RED &•> WHITE" BOOK OF MENZIES. [a.d. 1296. 

Scotchmen, they fell upon them and discomfited the Scotchmen, and the chase 
continued more than five leagues of way, until the hour of vespers ; and there died 
Sir Patrick de Graham, a great lord, and 10,055 by right reckoning. 

" On that same Friday, by night, the king came to Berwick to go to Dunbar, 
and lay that night at Coldingham, and on the Saturday (April 28) at Dunbar, 
and on the same day they of the castle surrendered themselves to the king's pleasure. 
And there were the Earl of Atholl, the Earl of Ross, the Earl of Menteith, Sir John 
Comyn of Badenoch, the son, Sir Richard Stuart, Sir William de Saintclair, and 
as many as fourscore men-at-arms and sevenscore footmen ; there tarried the king 
three days. Amongst the prisoners was Sir Alexander the Menzies, ' Alexandri 
de Meyners,' one of the guardians of Scotland."— Eng. Hist. Docs., III. Scot. p. 25, 
vol. ii. 

Edward I. was not slow to follow up the advantages which these successes had 
given him. Returning from Lothian, he besieged the Castle of Roxburgh, which 
surrendered to him. Others followed, and soon almost all Scotland was in the 
hands of the English, with the exception of the Highlands. 

All the prisoners taken at Dunbar, of whom were nearly all the leading men 
of Scotland, were sent off to different prisons in England. Sir Alexander the 
Menzies was sent to the Tower of London, showing that he must have been 
considered one of the most important men of the time, as the following extract 
shows : — 

" May 16. Scottish prisoners taken in Dunbar Castle committed to the 
following prisons : — The Earls of Ros, Athol, Menteth, John, son of John Comyn 
of Badenagh, Richard Siward, John Fitz Geoffry, Andrew de Moray, John de 
Inchemartin, David, son of Patrick de Graham, Alexander de Meners (Menzies), 
Nicholas Randolf, son of Thomas Randolf, knights, sent to the Tower of London. 
Roxburgh." There follows a long list of names, some being sent to Windsor 
Castle, Rochester Castle, Ledes Castle, Winchester Castle, Chester Castle, Conewey 
Castle, Kenilworth Castle ; in fact, they were made up in batches or gangs, and sent 
to almost every strong castle in England. These batches were twenty-three in 
number, and were made up of six or seven barons, knights, or gentlemen in each, 
with the exception of the above, which is the largest, and the first on the list, and 
contains the most important prisoners, which, for greater safety, were sent to the 
Tower of London. — Cal. Docs, re Scot., p. 176, vol. ii. 

On the 8th August 1296, at a Parliament held at Berwick, it has been said 
that Edward I. made a provision for the wives of the prisoners taken at Dunbar, 
one of whom was the wife of Sir Alexander the Menzies ; and we find, on the 3rd 
September 1 296, there is a petition by Agnes Menzies, the wife of Sir Alexander 
the Menzies, whose estates had been seized by the order of King Edward I. The 
petition is somewhat as follows : — ■" Agnes, the wife of Alexander the Menzies, who 

a.d. 1296-1297.] EARL MENZIES. 41 

is a captive in prison, taken prisoner at Dunbar, supplicates support from the 
hereditary estates of the prisoner and herself, Agnes." — Cal. Docs, re Scot., p. 92, 
vol. ii. This Agnes, or Egidia, was the daughter of John the Stewart. To this 
petition Edward granted a fifty merk land of old extent, to be allotted for the 
subsistence of the wife and children of Sir Alexander Menzies, regarding which we 
find the following entry : — " Membte p dorso Berwick, 4. Sept., Ed. I. cons tras hient 
muliers subscripte videlicet Agnes Wxr. Alex de Meiners de quinquaginta,mercatis 
thre pleglem extentain," &c. ut Sd." — Exchequer Rolls, Scot., p. 28, vol. ii. 

Sir Alexander the Menzies was sent to London in chains, where he 
was kept in close confinement, along with the other brave men taken at Dunbar ; 
and after Edward I. had, as he thought, subdued Scotland, he compelled them to 
attend him in his wars in France, but even this partial liberty was not allowed 
them until their sons were delivered as hostages. The following extract will show 
Edward's action towards the Scottish prisoners : — 

"Aug. 17. Writ under the Great Seal of the Barons, commanding that if 
John, Earl of Athol, becomes bound before them, body for body ; that Alexander 
de Meyners, prisoner in the Tower (of London) ; Malcolm de Kilros, prisoner in 
Rochester Castle ; David le Mire, prisoner in the Castle of Ledes ; and John Page, 
prisoner in Tunbridge Castle, shall attend the king beyound seas with horses and 
arms ; they shall be freed — dated 9th August. Whereon the earl on Friday, the 
morrow of the Assumption of the Blessed Mary, became bound in their presence 
for the said Alexander [Menzies], Malcolm, and John, who were accordingly 
delivered to him ; and on the following day, Saturday, the earl became bound for 
David, who was also delivered to him." — Cal. Docs, re Scot., p. 241, vol. ii. 

It is very gratifying to see the imprisoned Scotsmen trying to make the best 
of their awful position, and assisting one another in the sufferings they had to 
endure while undergoing their imprisonment ; and we find Sir Alexander the 
Menzies no sooner got so far free, than he assisted other Scots in the same direction, 
as will be seen from the following record : — 

" August 22. Letters patent by John, Earl of Athol, Alexander de Meygners, 
and John de Inchemartin, guaranteeing that Sir Laurence de Strathbolgy, Sir Henry 
de Inchemartin, Sir William de Moray, Sir Edmond de Ramsay, Sir John de 
Camburnon, Sir William de la Haye, Sir Walter de Berkeleye, knights ; Simon 
de Hiskendy, John de Irland, John de Strathbolgy, Robert de Mountour, William 
Bron, David de Cambernon, Gregor Makenkerd, Walter Dalith, Thomas Dalith, 
Nichole Drilowenan, Malis de Loggy, Walter de Buthergax, Robert de Inchethor, 
John Buterwan, Michel Lescot, and Andrew de Strathgartney (Strawyatenay), 
vallets, shall serve the King of England in his army in France or elsewhere. 
Append their seals at Winchelsea." — Cal. Docs, re Scot., p. 242, vol. ii. 

It is one of the many things of which the Clan Menzies are proud, that no 

42 THE "RED <S~ WHITE" BOOK. OF MENZIES. [a.d. i 296-1 297. 

Menzies ever signed the Ragman Roll, and that Sir Alexander the Menzies, their 
chief, unflinchingly suffered so much for his patriotic principles and for the 
liberties of Scotland. 

From the Tower of London Sir Alexander the Menzies and his other friends 
accompanied Edward I. and his army to Flanders, where he was waging war 
against the French. It was at this point that Sir William Wallace burst upon the 
scene, and became the champion of Scotland and her freedom. The son of 
Sir Alexander the Menzies — Sir Robert of Menzies — smarting under the 
confiscation of whatever lands that lay in the power of the English to lay hold 
of, opposed their progress, and, notwithstanding that the English had overrun 
the greater part of Scotland, the Clan Menzies in their Highland fastness were 
able to hold their ground in spite of their enemies. The young chief, Sir 
Robert Menzies, must have given considerable assistance to Wallace, on the 
outbreak of the patriots, against the yoke of England. And it is also traditional 
that another Menzies — thought to have been the brother of Sir Alexander, 
who is called in old deeds " John [Menzies] of Glenurchy," who flourished at 
this time, 1297 — also gave aid to the cause of Wallace. Tradition also says 
that Wallace visited the Menzies country and castle very frequently ; and here, 
it is said, in the then difficult of access Appin-na- Meinerich, a considerable 
force of Clan Menzies mustered under their young chief, Sir Robert, joined 
the army of Sir William Wallace, and fought under him at the battle of Stirling 
Bridge, which took place on the 11th September 1297, where Wallace, with 
the patriotic clans, gained a great victory over the English, and this was followed by 
the capture of many of the most important strongholds and castles in Scotland. 
On the news of this great victory reaching Edward I. in Flanders, he at once 
arranged a peace and returned to England, where, by his orders, a large army had 
been raised and was awaiting him. It would seem that, in his haste to punish 
the Scots, he had allowed some of his prisoners to get away, and Sir Alexander 
the Menzies evidently made good his escape. On Edward arriving in England 
he at once pushed into Scotland at the head of his army, and encountered 
Wallace at Falkirk, where the Scottish army suffered a defeat. After the battle of 
Falkirk Sir William Wallace led a wandering life for some time, and it is traditional 
that he got shelter from his friend and fellow-patriot in arms, Sir Alexander the 
Menzies, at Castle Menzies, on whose lands he had safety. Indeed, traditions 
linger still in the " Vale of the Menzies," or Strathtay, of his having spent a 
considerable time among his friends of the siol na Maynus, and also in other 
parts of their lands, particularly towards the north of the present parish of 
Fortingall, in the Rannoch part of the Menzies country. Marshall says : — " The 
feet of the immortal Wallace trod the soil of Rannoch, which he passed through in 
returning to the south from his expedition to the West Highlands. On the 

a.d. 1297-1303.J EARL MENZIES. 43 

farm of Innerchadden is an old ruin called Sheomar-na-Staiugl, which means 
'The Ditch Hall,' if we may judge from Blind Harry's description of it. It had 
been constructed of earth and turf. Here Wallace, coming from Argyle, attended 
by a few faithful adherents, rested for some days, and passing from thence through 
Glengonlindie into the Appin-na-Maynus, was joined by chief Sir Alexander the 
Menzies at the head of his clan and followers from Rannoch, who, glad of 
his presence among them, took the opportunity to join the hero's standard 
and marched with him to attack the English near Dunkeld and Perth. Although 
Wallace had been defeated at the battle of Falkirk, yet such was the effects 
of his tactics, by destroying everything rather than let the English get subsistence 
either for man or beast, that Edward was compelled to return to England with 
his army in a state of starvation, thus preventing his victory from having much 
effect. Matters after this went more favourably for Scotland until the year 1302, 
when Edward sent another army to subdue Scotland. It was encountered 
at Roslin, near Edinburgh, by the Scottish army under the Steward, and other 
faithful Scots, with Sir Alexander the Menzies and his clan. In this battle 
the English were totally defeated in each of its three successive engagements, 
although they numbered ten to one. As they came on in three divisions, they 
were each cut down one after the other. Exasperated at such a disgraceful 
defeat, Edward raised another army and marched into Scotland the following 
year, 1303, where, in revenge, he set fire to everything in his way through the 
country, going as far as Aberdeen, and returning to Dunfermline, where he 
received the homage of a considerable number of the Scottish nobles and barons, 
but never that of a Menzies." 

One of those out of the very few who still held out against Edward, and 
would not submit to his yoke in any form, was the Chief Sir Alexander the 
Menzies, who stood firm on the side of his country and Wallace ; Comyn, 
the governor of Scotland, the successor of Wallace ; and Sir Simon Fraser — 
all of whom continued in determined opposition to the detested Edward, 
who, leaving his army behind him to keep the Scottish chiefs and patriots in 
check, returned to England. When Sir Alexander the Menzies and Sir John 
Menteith learned that the English army were in a bad state from want of pro- 
visions and money, they went to Linlithgow to treat with Edward's representatives 
for peace, and there found the English army in a sad condition, to which they 
had been reduced by the action of Wallace, Comyn, and Sir Alexander Menzies, 
who by small bands of followers had so harassed them and captured their 
provisions, that they were reduced to great straits. This emboldened Menzies 
and Menteith to go to their camp on pretext of making peace, when, on 
seeing the condition of the English, they broke off the negotiations, as recorded 
by the English. It reads thus: — " 1303, September 28. Intelligence sent by Sir 

44 THE "RED & WHITE" BOOK OF MENZIES. [a.d. 1303-1305. 

James Vallance to ' Edward ' I. on the affairs of Scotland — That we should tell the 
said Richard de Bromesgrave and Alexander de Convers that the Scotch have 
openly assembled, with all their force (under Sir J. Mentethe and Sir Alexander 
Menzies and others), in the lands ; and that the Irish troops, who are in their 
(the English) pay, are remaining in the country round about Linlithgow, 
where they can have nothing whereon to live, excepting for ready money, 
unless they rob the people who come into allegiance to the King (of England) ; 
and they perceive that no one cares for them nor for their lives ; whereupon 
they have packed up their baggage to depart to their own country. And Sir 
John de Mentethe and Sir Alexander de Meyners, who had come to treat in 
good form for peace, broke up their business by reason of the scarcity which 
they saw amoung the said people. 

" Hereupon Sir Aymer de Valence promised them that if money had arrived 
they might thereof think themselves safe, whereupon they held themselves 
well satisfied ; and that he was not strong enough to stop the enemies without 
them. Whereupon the aforesaid Richard and Alexander ought to do his 
commandment, so that it should be no blame. On this side the Scottish 
sea was in such a state that the King (of England) had no power to stop his 
enemies to his dishonour and damage. In testimony of which we have set our 
seals to his credence. — Written at Berwick-upon-Tweed, 28th September 1303. 
Edward I." — Eng. His. Docs, re Scot., p. 454, vol. ii. 

The foregoing shows the condition of the English army at this time, and 
how Sir Alexander Menzies and his followers, with other chiefs of the Scottish 
army, were so successful in harassing them. On the arrival of Edward I. 
with reinforcements, place after place fell into his hands, and at last Stirling 
Castle, which had made a noble defence, surrendered. It was after this event 
that Edward increased his efforts to capture Wallace, who, when sorely pressed, 
sought shelter with his faithful supporter and comrade-in-arms, Sir Alexander 
the Menzies, in the Highland wilds of the Meinerich, in north-west Perthshire, 
at Castle Menzies, as is set forth in the following lines by Miller, the bard 
of Perthshire : — ■ 

" And found in the Cask Menzies a welcome board, 
And hearts that panted to afford 
The conquered all a conqueror's due ; 
Where foes were rife and friends were few ! 
But ever thus thy chiefs have shown 
Their love of freedom and the throne ! 
A Menzies fought by Wallace side." 

Notwithstanding every effort to conceal Wallace, who was perfectly safe 
as long as he remained in the Highlands among such clans as Menzies, 

a.d. 1305-1307.] EARL MENZIES. 45 

Robertson, Stewart, Cameron, and others ; but, coming to the Lowlands, was 
at length captured near Dumbarton, by the treachery of Sir John Monteith, 
and, after great torture, executed in London on the 23rd of August 1305. 

With the death of Sir William Wallace, Edward flattered himself that he 
had now conquered Scotland. But how idle are the dreams of ambition ! In 
less than six months after the execution of Wallace, Edward's power in Scotland 
was entirely overthrown, and Scotland once more was free. And, although almost 
all the nobles and barons of Scotland had sworn fealty to Edward, yet Sir 
Alexander the Menzies, Sir Robert, Sir Thomas, and Sir Alexander, his sons, 
never rested until the usurper was driven out. 

On the 20th of March 1306, Robert the Bruce was crowned at Scone, after 
which he lost no time in raising an army from among his friends the clans of the 
Highlands of Athole and surrounding districts, among whom it is considered were 
the clans Menzies, Stewart, Robertson, Macgregor, and Cameron. Bruce at once 
sat down with his army at Perth, then in the hands of the English, and began to 
besiege it, when it was arranged by the English commander to have a fixed battle 
on a certain day. Bruce, therefore, withdrew to the wood of Methven, but the same 
night he was treacherously attacked, surprised, and outnumbered by the English, 
notwithstanding the honourable and knightly arrangement. In this defeat Bruce 
lost many of his friends and followers, and it was with difficulty that Bruce with Sir 
Alexander the Menzies effected his retreat into the fastnesses of Athole, where the 
English dared not follow. It is still current in the folk-lore of the country of the 
Meineirch, round about Weem, Dull, and Fortingall, that King Robert the Bruce 
lingered in Strath Tay at Castle Menzies with the then chief after the Battle of 
Methven. Many places in the Menzies' country are still pointed out where he either 
found shelter or connected with some of his exploits. It was at this time that Bruce 
received news that a body of the English had entered the northern part of the 
parish of Fortingall, which takes its name from the village of the famous yew-tree, 
and formed part of the lands of the Menzies'. The king collected what remained of 
his friends after the battle of Methven, and, augmented by additions from the clans 
Menzies, Robertson, Macgregor, Stewart, and others, he marched over to the north 
of the parish of Fortingall, on the east of Loch Rannoch, and there gave battle 
to the English and the renegade Scots, gaining a notable victory over them. There 
is still a number of names of places that are memorials of this battle. The glen 
through which the English came to the scene of conflict is called Glen Sassan — that 
is, the Englishman's Glen. The ground where the English and the patriot clans 
met in mortal combat is called Innerchadden, or the point where the battle began ; 
and the spot where the fate of the day was decided is called Dachosnie — that is, the 
field of victory. After this victory, Bruce ventured into Argyleshire, where he was 
defeated, and lost his famous brooch of Lorn at the encounter at Dalree, from 

46 THE "RED &- WHITE" BOOK OF MENZIES. [a.d. 1307-1310. 

whence he returned and concealed himself in a large wood about two miles east of 
Dalchousnie, where there are in several of the names of places memorials of his 
presence. The site of the house on the then Menzies' lands, where lived the 
royal fugitive, is called in Gaelic Scomar-an-rich — that is, the king's hall, and 
the ford of the Tummel over which Bruce crossed is called the " king's ford," 
and the high point of the eminence above is called the " king's watch-tower ;" 
also, on the estate of Bonskeid, there is a wood named collevrochan, which 
name was given in consequence of Bruce having, it is said, partaken of a very 
hasty breakfast with Duncan Atholi, Sir Alexander the Menzies, and other faithful 
adherents, on his way to Rannoch. — Statistical Account, Historical Scenes, Perth ; 
and Robertson's E. A thole, p. 10. 

In the irregular warfare, carried on for some time with varied success, several 
exploits were achieved by Bruce and his faithful supporters, one of these being the 
capture of Dundee, in which the junior chief, Sir Robert of Menzies, took a part ; 
and where we find him, on the 24th of February 1309, present at a general council 
held at Dundee after its capture, where the prelates declared King Robert the Bruce 
their lawful sovereign. Again, in the same year, on the 5th October 1309, Bruce 
granted a charter confirming Sir Gilbert Hay as Chief Constable of Scotland, to 
which Sir Alexander the Menzies is a witness, which reads — " Carta confirmationis 
predictis monachis qnarundem elimosuraum [of] Gilbertus de Haia, Constabularius, 
Scotie," to which, with other names, are the Bishops of St Andrews, Glasgow, 
Brechin, and Alexendro de Mynoris, at Dunkeld, 5th October 1309. — Reg. Cupar 
Ab., p. 286. 

About this date Bruce granted Sir Thomas Menzies, one of the sons of the 
chief Sir Alexander the Menzies, the estates of Unym, or Oyne, in the Gairoch, in 
Aberdeenshire, doubtless for the assistance he had rendered to the Bruce in the 
capture of the city of Aberdeen from the English in 1 308. This grant is recorded 
in the Rolls of Missing Charters, where " a charter by Robert I. to Thomas Menzies, 
knight, of the lands of Unyn (Oyne), in the Garioch," is registered. These lands, 
however, may have been held by the Menzies before the days of charters ; and on 
Scotland being overrun by the English may have been taken from them, and again 
restored by the Bruce for valour in the field to Sir Thomas Menzies, from whom 
descend the Menzies' of Aberdeenshire, where the name has been corrupted into 
Mennie, Minnie, Minnus, &c. — Robertson's Index of Charters, p. 16, &c. 

After the death of Edward I., on the 29th July 1307, his son Edward II. made 
another extraordinary effort to conquer Scotland, and marched into Scotland with 
a stronger army than before. Bruce, having cleared all provisions out of their reach, 
retired to the Highlands, and from pure starvation they were compelled to retreat 
over the Borders, where they were followed by the Scots, who made great inroads 
into England. Having now so far settled the southern part of the kingdom, Bruce 

a.d. 1 3 10-13 1 2.] EARL MENZIES. 47 

marched through Scotland, retaking the strongholds, in this being ably assisted by 
Sir Alexander the Menzies and his clan, and when Bruce had proceeded as far 
north as Cromarty, we find Sir Alexander is still with him. On the 1st July 1310, 
when Bruce granted a charter of favours to the Abbot and Monastery of " Kiynlos," 
Kinloss — "-Tenent in perpetuam elemosinam" witnesses " Malcomo Com. de Levenax, 
Alex, de Menzies, Wil. Wysman, Walt, de Normanvile, Jac. de Duglas, Alex. 
Fraser," and others — it will be observed that Sir Alexander signs next to the Earl 
of Lennox, " Levenax" those that sign after him being Sir James Douglas and 
Sir Alexander Fraser. From this it will be gathered that Sir Alexander must have 
been considered either a blood connection to the king, or he held a superior position 
in Scotland to them. This is the good Sir James Douglas, who afterwards, along 
with one of the Menzies', went with the heart of the Bruce to the Holy Land. 

The Meinerich at this time must have held very large tracts of land in the 
Highlands of Scotland, and as charters had been gradually obtained for one part 
after another, they confirm the traditions of the Menzies' that they at one time held 
land stretching across to the Atlantic from Appin-na-Meinnerich, or Strath Tay. 
They, of course, got first charters for the most important of the lands they held, and 
their lands in Athole were the best and nearest to the seat of government. We 
have, therefore, the eldest son of Sir Alexander Menzies — Robert of Menzies, 
afterwards chief — receiving a charter for his lands, and, as it would appear, what 
was the old boundary of Athole took in the parish of Kenmore, as it is now called ; 
but in 1 3 1 2 it was called Disher and Toyer, as is embodied in the following 
charter of David de Strathbogie, Earl of Athole, dated about 1 3 1 2, who, acting for 
the king, declares : — " To all who shall see or hear this charter, David de 
Strathbogie, Earl of Athole, and Constable of Scotland, salvation in the Lord, know 
— We have given, granted, and by this our dear and faithfull confederate, Sir 
Robert de Meygnes, knight, son of Sir Alexander de Meygnes, for his homage and 
service, the whole Thanedom of Cranach, within our Earldom of Athole, with all 
the lands Cranach, Achmore, Kynknoch, the two Rathrowes, and Achnethrosik, 
along with all their pertinents, rendering to us and to our heirs the services of one 
archer in the army of our Lord the King of Scotland, and three suits of Court 
yearly, at the three capital pleas at Rath, in our earldom of Athole, in testimony 
whereof to this our present charter we have placed our Seal before these witnesses, 
— Robert the Steward of Scotland ; Lord John Randolph, Earl of Moray ; Patrick 
de Dunbar, Earl of March ; Andrew de Moravia, Lord of Bothwell ; Patrick de 
Carnoco, knight ; Simon de Sawelton, then our Chamberlain ; Henry de Wollor, 
and many others." 

The above charter is in the possession of Sir Robert Menzies of Menzies at 
Castle Menzies. — Earldom of Athole, p. 10. 

Bruce having now recovered most of the northerr strongholds from the 

4 8 THE "RED 6- WHITE" BOOK OF MENZIES. [a.d. t 3 12 - 

English in his march north, accompanied by Sir Alexander Menzies, who, on his 
return towards Perth, determined on its capture ; but this was achieved with 
great difficulty, as it was strongly fortified. Bruce, however, invested it with all 
the forces he could muster from the neighbouring Highlands of Perthshire, being 
assisted by the Clans Menzies, Stewart, Robertson, Macgregor, Cameron, and others. 
He pressed the siege with great vigour, but without effect, and was obliged to 
withdraw his troops for a time, but afterwards returned with scaling-ladders in the 
silence of a dark night, leading his men in person, partly wading and swimming 
across the ditch, followed by his Highlanders, who by scaling-ladders mounted the 
walls, Bruce being the second to enter the city, followed by the Menzies' and others ; 
when the whole garrison was put to the sword, and the walls razed to their 
foundations. This great achievement freed all Perthshire from their foes. As 
" nothing succeeds like success," so it was with Bruce and his patriotic band ; after 
the fall of Perth, one fortress or castle after another was captured until, by the 
harvest time of the year 1312, Bruce again invaded England with an army, 
with which were Sir Alexander the Menzies, his son Sir Robert, and the Clan 
Menzies. In this raid they gave to the flames the towns of Hexham and Corbrigg, 
and attacked the important towns of Berwick and Carlisle, where they met with 
a repulse, but only retired from them on receiving payment of a large sum of 
money. Bruce afterwards returned to Scotland laden with booty, and summoned 
a Parliament to meet him at Inverness on the 29th October 13 12, where we find 
Sir Alexander the Menzies, and his son Sir Robert of Menzies, appears on the list 
of Scottish barons, where the chief was acknowledged as Earl Menzies, Comitum. 
The records in the Acts of this Parliament state that, " On the 29th October 1312, 
King Robert the Bruce held a Parliament at Inverness, at which were Alexi Comyn, 
Earl Comitis de Buchan, Patricij de Dunbar, Willi de Marre, Ade de Carr, 
Comitufi et Earl Menzies, and Robtj de Menygners, barronis eft appointum" &c. 
— Acts Par., p. 103, vol. i. 

The acknowledgment by Bruce of the chief as Comitum, or Earl Menygnes, 
was, doubtless, in recognition of his great services to the king and Scotland ; and, 
in further confirmation of his right to the lands of his ancestors, Sir Alexander the 
Menzies got a charter about this time, 13 12, from King Robert the Bruce, of the 
barony of Glendochart, and which is given in Robertson's " Index to Charters," 
which states that " Robert I. granted to Alexander Meinzies a charter of the barony 
of Glendochyre, Perth," 1312, No. 97. This barony of Glendochart comprised Loch 
Dochart, which is about three miles long from east to west, and contains a floating 
island about fifty-one feet long by twenty-nine feet broad, which appears to have 
been gradually formed by the natural intertexture of roots, stems, and water plants. 
It moves before the wind, and may also be moved by poles. It is said that cattle 
going unsuspectingly on it to feed are liable to be carried on a voyage round the 

a.d. 131 2.] EARL MENZIES. 


loch. On another, but stationary, island still stands the ruins of one of the ancient 
castles of the Menzies', and where this chief, Earl Alexander, resided. It is 
embowered with wood, and has a very romantic appearance, but must have been 
a place of great safety in those trying times. The river Fillan runs into the west 
end of the loch, and the Dochart issues from the east end, and runs about ten miles 
east-north-eastward along Glendochart to join the river Lochy, and finally falls into 
Loch Tay at the village of Killin. The glen is romantic ; the falls of the river 
above the bridge of Killin are exceedingly picturesque, and the admiration of all 
lovers of the beauty of nature. On entering Glendochart from Glenogle, it 
presents a region of sterile magnificence, but varied by the winding course of the 
river Dochart. Several hamlets nestle on the eminences that just rise above the 
level, which stretches far to the west. The bottom of the glen excites considerable 
interest, though the hills exhibit a lengthened chain of barren wildness. Above this 
scene towers Benmore, raising in the mind a sublimity of feeling not easily to be 
expressed in words. Proceeding by the banks of the Dochart to Killin is the hill 
called Stronclachan, the craggy heights of Finlairg, the lofty Benlawers, with Loch 
Tay stretching along the base of these mountains — all forming the magnificent 
Barony of Glendochart, and at this time part of the lands of the Meinerich, and 
now renewed by charter to Earl Alexander the Menzies, being the first charter ever 
granted for the Barony of Glendochart. It confirms the tradition that the 
Meinerich were in possession of it ages before. The same applies to their other 
lands in Argyle, Breadalbin, and Athole, of which, at this time, Earl Alexander the 
Menzies further got his possession confirmed by charter from King Robert the 
Bruce of the lands of Finlargis (Finlarig), with its Menzies-built strength, Finlarig 
Castle. This charter is also given by Robertson the next to the foregoing in 
1312, No. 98. — "Robert I. granted a charter to Alexander Meinzies of the davach 
of land of Finlargis in (and) baronia of Glenorcht, Perth." This charter appears to 
include the Menzies' possession of Glenorchy, which, tradition says, belonged to 
the Menzies' before and at this period, the greater part of which apparently 
belonged to John, the brother of Earl Alexander the Menzies. The ancient seat 
and stronghold of the Menzies' on this part of their lands is Finlarig Castle, which 
still rears its head, a ruined three-storied ivy-clad building with a square tower at 
one corner of picturesque appearance ; standing surrounded with noble old trees, 
planted by its ancient chiefs the Menzies', on an undulating park about a mile and 
a half from the village of Killin, and not far from Loch Tay. At the same time 
Earl Alexander the Menzies got his ancestral possessions adjacent to the above, 
stretching eastward from Glendochart along the shores of Loch Tay on its north 
side, known as " Cranach," acknowledged by charter from King Robert the Bruce. 
With this the Menzies' also were confirmed in their rights as thanes of Crannich, 
and the hereditary office of what was called the Kings Tosachdorership, which gave 


50 THE "RED en WHITE" BOOK OF MENZIES. [a.d. 1313-1314 

them the power of life and death in their domains, a power which they used very 
rarely, as their considerate dealings with all classes of their followers made them 
the respected chiefs of the people ; and as long as the Menzies' held these lands of 
Crannich, they had Grown charters for them and the office, which they retained 
until the seventeenth century. — Robertson's E. dom. Athole, p. 81. 

In the summer of 13 13, King Robert the Bruce, with a chosen band of Scots, 
led an expedition against the Isle of Man, in which Sir Alexander the Menzies 
seems to have taken part with the clan. He expelled the powerful sept of the 
MacDowalls, the inveterate enemies of Bruce and Menzies, and reduced the whole 
isle to his sway. On the return of Bruce, in the autumn of 13 13, we find him and 
Earl Alexander the Menzies at Dundee, whence they appear to have proceeded 
immediately after landing. At Dundee, on the 4th October 131 3, we find that 
King Robert the Bruce granted a charter Regis de custodia Foreste Regie de le 
Stoket, &c. To this charter, which is in the archives of the city of Aberdeen, 
is appended the name of Alexandro de Menyers as a witness, dated at Dundee, 
4th October 1 3 13, whereby Bruce made a gift and conveyance to the community 
of Aberdeen of the royal forest of Stocket. 

During the absence of Bruce and Menzies at the Isle of Man, his brother, 
Edward Bruce — who was besieging Stirling Castle, which resisted all his efforts — was 
prevailed upon by Mowbray, its defender, to stay the siege, on conditions that 
he would yield it up if not relieved by the 24th June 13 14. This agreement Bruce 
learned with displeasure ; nevertheless, he resolved to abide by his brother's pledge 
of honour, and accordingly prepared to meet the great army being raised in 
England by Edward II. to relieve Stirling, and finally crush and conquer Scotland. 
Earl Alexander the Menzies and others of the Highland chiefs were instructed by 
Bruce to raise the full strength of their clans. The traditions of the Menzies' relate 
that they — being from the dawn of Scottish history the hereditary governors under 
the Crown of the gold, silver, copper, and lead mines of Scotia — marshalled from the 
different mines all the miners for Bannockburn. Indeed, one of the meanings of 
the name Menzies, in Gaelic Mein, which forms the first syllable of the plural 
Mein-erich, is " metal," and Mein-oir means " gold metal," bullion, silver, &c. The 
Menzies' are said to have had many of the clan skilled in the mining operations of 
old, and in those days the Highlanders produced works of art in silver and gold 
unsurpassed even in modern times, of which Bruce's Brooch of Lorn and other 
works are examples. It is said that the Menzies' wrought the mines all over the 
old boundary of Scotia, and, at the time of Bannockburn, actually wrought the 
mines in Badenoch, with those near " Ben-mein " in Morven, and those on their 
own estates, also held by charters at this time, of which were the mines near 
Tyndrum, at the west end of Glendochart, the Tomnadashen silver and copper 
mines on Loch Tayside, the mines at " Corribuie," and the mines of " Meall-na- 

a.d. 1314.] EARL MENZIES. 51 

Creige" — all in the neighbourhood of Loch Tay, and all within the lands of the 

These Celtic miners are said to have, by the exertions of Earl Alexander the 
Meingeis and his sons, responded to the call to arms as only Highlanders can, with 
Celtic ardour, burning to cross claymores with the hated Sassenach. With these 
hardy miners and the other portions of the Clan Mein-gyeis — as the name was spelt 
about this time — the chief, Sir Alexander the Menzies, is said to have mustered a 
larger force of clansmen under the " red and white " banner of Clan Menzies than 
has ever before or since responded to the Fiery Cross. Doubtless the Menzies', from 
the vast extent of their possessions, as yet unreduced by encroachment of other sur- 
rounding clans, and being at this time so near the then important town and capital of 
Scotia, Dunkeld, the country near it, as near all important towns, would be much 
more thickly populated than it is at the present time ; thus — as the Fiery Cross was 
sent from Castle Menzies along the Appin of Menzies (now Strath Tay), around 
Loch Tay, Glendochart, Glenlyon, Glenlochy, Glenqueich, Glenalmond, Glenorchy, 
Glengoulindie, Rannoch, Tummel, and Strathbran, with other parts of the Menzies' 
country — the numbers that could then be called out must have been much greater 
than at present. These, with the force of hardy minners from the Menzies' mines, 
must have numbered from 4000 to 5000 clansmen and followers. With this force 
the chief, Earl Alexander the " Meinges," headed Clan Menzies, who, with pipes 
playing, marched to join the army of King Robert the Bruce at the appointed 
rendezvous at Torwood, between Falkirk and Stirling. There the Scottish army 
mustered about 30,000 fighting men. As the English army approached, numbering 
over 100,000 armed men, the Scottish army drew nearer Stirling, and took up their 
appointed position behind the Bannock at Bannockburn, occupying several small 
eminences south and west of St Ninians, their line extending in a north-easterly 
direction from the burn of Bannock, on which their right flank rested ; their left 
flank rested towards the high ground above St Ninians. The English army drew 
near and encamped on the opposite bank, when they secretly sent about 900 cavalry 
round by the low grounds to relieve Stirling Castle ; but were observed by Bruce, 
who, with a taunt of carelessness to his nephew Randolph, whom he had ordered to 
watch that point, despatched him to intercept them with 500 foot. These the 
English horse charged, but were received by the Scots formed in square, and 
ultimately defeated with great loss. The Scots only losing one man, returned to 
the main army amid their acclamations. This — with the incident where Bruce cut 
down the English knight with his battle-axe, who treacherously attempted to 
surprise him — greatly inspirited the Scottish army. These incidents occurred on the 
23rd June 1 3 14, the day before the Battle of Bannockburn. The day being far 
spent, the Scottish army lay in arms upon the field. 

Next morning being Monday, 24th June 13 14, all was early in motion on both 

E 2 

52 THE "RED & WHITE" BOOK OF MENZIES. [a.d. 1314. 

sides. The Scottish army was drawn up in four divisions — their front extended 
about a mile in length ; the right wing, which was upon the highest ground, under 
Edward Bruce (the king's brother), had also a body of cavalry under Keith ; the 
left wing was on the low ground, under Walter the High Steward and Sir James 
Douglas. Bruce himself took the command of the reserve behind the centre, which 
had also a body of 500 cavalry; the rest of the Scottish army were on foot ; the 
front centre was under the command of Randolph, the son of the sister of King 
Robert the Bruce. The right division was composed partly of the Clans Macdonald, 
Menzies, Robertson, Macgregor, Cameron, and others. We can imagine the 
appearance of the Clan Menzies as they took up their position, dressed in their red 
and white tartan, with the badge of the clan in each clansman's blue bonnet, with 
its " red and white " dice-check round its border — the badge being the Menzies 
heath, known by its " red and white " bell or blossom ; and above them waved, in 
the breeze of that ever-to-be-remembered summer morn, the " red and white " 
banner of Clan Menzies, while in front of them were played the bagpipes by their 
hereditary pipers the Maclntyres, who played some stirring Menzies tune, such as 
the " Menzies Rant." On taking up their position, there was an interval of some 
time, while the English hordes moved forward and were about to engage, when 
the Abbot of Inchaffray, Mauritius, or Manuris — one of the line of ecclesiastical 
Menzies' — barefooted and with crucifix in hand, walked slowly along the Scottish 
line, when all fell on their knees in the act of devotion. Edward II. observing 
them in that position, cried, " See ! They are kneeling ; they crave mercy ! " 
" They do, my liege," replied Umfraville ; " but it is from God, not from us." " To the 
charge, then ! " cried Edward, when Gloucester and Hereford threw themselves 
impetuously upon the right wing, in which was the Clan Menzies, who received them 
unflinchingly, while the centre division rushed furiously upon the English main 
body and met with a warm reception. The ardour of one of the Scottish divisions 
on the left — consisting of the Clans Stewart, Ferguson, Mackay, Chattan, and others 
— had carried them too far, and were SQ.rely harassed by a body of 10,000 archers. 
This being observed by the keen eye of Bruce, he ordered the Keith to the attack 
with the 500 light horse, who, fetching a circuit round Milton bog, suddenly charged 
the left flank and rear of the English bowmen, and instantly threw them into 
disorder, and chased them from the field, or were cut down by the Scottish 
horsemen. The English, failing to make any impression on the right wing of the 
Scots, in which was Clan Menzies, a strong body of cavalry then charged the right 
wing with such irresistible fury that the Scots would have been quite overpowered 
had not Randolph hastened to their assistance. The battle was now at its hottest ; 
the English continued to charge with unabated vigour, while the Scots received 
them with inflexible intrepidity — each clansman fighting as if victory depended on 
his single arm. But still victory was uncertain, when suddenly the face of affairs 

a.d. 1 3 14.] EARL MENZIES. 53 

was altered by a stratagem of King Robert the Bruce, which greatly contributed to 
secure the victory. Above 15,000 servants and camp attendants — who had 
been ordered to retire with the baggage behind the adjoining hill during the 
engagement — formed in martial array and marched to the top of the hill, with long 
poles upon which they had mounted sheets and tartan plaids for banners, and 
descended towards the battlefield with war-cries and shouts. The English, alarmed, 
and taking them to be fresh reinforcements, were seized with such a panic that they 
began to give way in much confusion. Seizing this opportunity, the right wing 
and the clans rushed upon the English shouting their war-cries, and the Menzies' 
raising their cath ghairm, or battle-shout, Gear s dearg gu brath! — that is, the "red 
and white for ever ! " — rushed upon the English with their claymores or two-handed 
swords, along with the other Highland clans of the right division, spreading death 
among their Sasunnach foes ; and as success became apparent, shouts of victory were 
raised by the Highlanders as they pursued the vanquished English, and among 
the shouts was heard that of the Clan Menzies, "Geal's dearg a suas!" which is "Up 
with the red and white ! " The English army was now completely routed. 
Barbour, who evidently was an eye-witness, describes the field as exhibiting a 
terrific spectacle. "It was awful," says he, " to hear the noise of these four battles 
fighting in a line, the clang of arms, the shouts of knights ' and chiefs,' as they 
raised their war-crys, the alternate sinking and rising of the banners, and the ground 
slippery with gore, and covered with shreds of armour, broken spears, pennons, and 
rich scarfs torn and soiled with blood and clay, and listen to the groans of the 
wounded and dying." It appears that during the heat of the fight, the Chief Earl 
Alexander the Menzies got wounded, and is referred to by the Perthshire bard 
Miller in these lines : — 

" For glorious Bruce a Menzies bled ! 
And well do Appin ' na-Meinerich ' hills record 
The value of their oft-tried sword. 
Proud guerdon of the king who knew 
To praise and recompense the true ! " 

— The Toy (D. Miller). 

The havoc among the English was greater in passing the river, where, from the 
irregularity of the ground, they could not preserve the slightest order. King 
Edward escaped by the fleetness of his horse, closely pursued by the Douglas, and 
was about to be captured when he managed to get within the gates of Dunbar Castle, 
from which he made his escape in a small fishing-boat to England. Over 50,000 English 
were killed on the field, and doubtless about 100,000 perished in all, as the stragglers 
were cut down in all directions in their flight to the Borders. The value of the 
plunder taken from the English is reckoned at not less than three millions sterling 
of our present money, and the waggons and wheeled carriages which were loaded, 

54 THE "RED &» WHITE" BOOK OF MENZIES. [a.d. 1314. 

would, if in line, have extended for twenty leagues. Thus the battle of Bannockburn 
was a glorious victory for Scotland, both in the determined manner in which the 
Scottish soldiers fought, the high military talents displayed by the king and his 
leaders, and the amazing disparity of numbers. Its consequences were in the 
highest degree important, as it put an end for ever to all the hopes of England 
accomplishing the conquest of Scotland. Of the Menzies' who were there at the 
Battle of Bannockburn with the chief Earl Alexander the Menzies, was his son, Sir 
Robert of Menzies, his successor ; Sir Thomas Menzies (the second son) of Garioch 
in Aberdeenshire, and his sept of the clan ; and the younger son, Sir Alexander of 

"The Menzies Claymore," or two-handed sword, that was wielded at 
Bannockburn by the chief of Clan Menzies, Earl Alexander the Menzies, is 
still preserved at Castle Menzies in the possession of his descendant, Chief 
Sir Robert the Menzies, the seventh baronet. It measures, over-all, 5 feet 
8 inches from point to crown of hilt. The blade from the guard is 4 feet 
1 V2 inches, and measures across the blade, at the ' fort ' of the sword, almost 
2 inches broad (1^5 inches full). Across the centre of the blade between point and 
guard it measures 1 5/£ inches broad. One-half the guard or ' quillon ' is broken off, 
and that which remains measures 8^4 inches long from the centre of the handle, 
so that the cross-guard would measure 17 inches before it was broken, which 
may have been done at Bannockburn. Then these two long guards are connected 
by an oval-shaped handle guard on each side, in line with the flat of the blade, 
for the purpose of catching a lance or spear, whereby an opponent could 
be disarmed, and at the same time acted as a guard against a cut from an 
enemy, and also to catch by in slinging the claymore over the shoulder, or 
unslinging it. The handle of " The Menzies Claymore " is 1 foot 6 inches 
long from the guard to the crown or large iron boss or knob at its end, which 
is 2}-z inches in diameter; the blade is marked by the armourer's mark, known 
by the name of " The Running Fox," which indicates that it was made about 
the time of Alexander III. or Edward I. "The Menzies Claymore" is very 
similar in every way to the celebrated Wallace Sword, but is somewhat larger 
and heavier, as it weighs 6 lbs. io| ozs. as it is, but with the lost portion of its 
guard it would weigh about 8 lbs ; and, no doubt, was used by Sir Alexander, 
side by side with Sir William Wallace, at the Battles of Stirling Bridge and 
Falkirk, and finally at Bannockburn in support of his companion-in-arms, Robert 
the Bruce. 

There still remains another relic of Clan Menzies at Bannockburn, and 
that is the bagpipes which were played in front of the Clan Menzies at their 
muster at Castle Menzies, and played before the clan on their march to join 
the main body of the Scottish army at Tonvood, and in front of them on 

The Menzies Bannockburn Claymore and Bagpipes. 

t. Full-length View of the Menzies Bannockburn Claymore or Two-handed Sword and old Sheath. 

2. Three-quarter View, showing Sword Handles, one quellon broken off. 

3. The Menzies Bannockburn Bagpipes (Bag, Half of Drone and Mouth-bit Restorations). 

a.d. 1314.] EARL MENZIES. 55 

the field of Bannockburn, by their hereditary pipers the Maclntyres, which 
family were the pipers to the chiefs of the Menzies' down to the time of Sir 
Neil Menzies, about 1840, when, the line breaking, the present family of the 
MacGregors became their pipers. The Menzies' Bannockburn pipes have 
only one drone, but the number of holes are the same as in the modern 
chanter, but there are two holes on each side of the chanter — no bag lasting 
in good condition more than seven years. We have no guide as to the exact 
size of the ancient bags, but the present sizes, no doubt, were handed down 
from generation to generation. — See Maclntyre North's "Book of the Club of True 
Highlanders," which also gives a diagram of them. 

The Highland clans who fought at Bannockburn on the side of Bruce 
for Scotland were Stewart, Menzies, MacDonald, MacGregor, Robertson, Mackay, 
Cameron, Macintosh, MacPherson, Sinclair, Drummond, MacLean, Sutherland, 
Grant, Fraser, Ross, Munro, Mackenzie, Macquarrie, MacFarlane, and probably 
Campbell, with other smaller septs ; there were several clans against Bruce, 
such as MacDowall, &c. The number of the direct descendants of the chiefs 
of these clans now in existence, and in possession of their paternal estates, 
is remarkable, with an unbroken succession of nearly 600 years. It is the 
more remarkable, when we consider these ages of misrule, that they have 
held their lands through all these years of trouble and poverty, and that there 
should be a greater change of Highland property within the last fifty years 
of abundance, wealth, and tranquility, than in the preceding six hundred years. 

After the battle of Bannockburn King Robert the Bruce, with that sagacity 
which was so characteristic of him, finding so many of the Highland 
families and clans his most faithful adherents, gave to several of them grants 
of lands in the southern Highlands of Scotland, there to act as a barrier in 
future against any other invasions by the English. For these reasons, and 
also as a reward in consequence of the distinguished conduct of the Chief 
Earl Alexander the Menzies at the battle of Bannockburn, King Robert the 
Bruce granted to him, immediately after that great event in 13 14, a charter 
of the lands and barony of Durrisdeer in Dumfriesshire. Robertson, in his 
Index, records that: — "Robert I. granted a charter to Alexandri de Mey tiers et 
Edidie sen his spouse file of the barony of Dorisdeir." This Lady Menzies 
was Egidia Stewart, the sister of Walter, the Lord High Steward of Scotland, 
and aunt of Sir Robert Stewart, afterwards King Robert II. and first of the 
royal house of Stewart. In further confirmation of the unfailing services 
in the national cause of Scotland, so patriotically rendered by Earl Alexander 
the Menzies, this grant of the barony of Durrisdeer was further confirmed 
by the following charter, given under the great seal of King Robert the 
Bruce, a translation of which runs thus : — 

56 THE "RED & WHITE" BOOK OF MENZIES. [a.d. 13 14. 

" 1 3 14. King Robert I. grants a charter to Alexi de Meynis and Egidie, 
his spouse, by which King Robert acknowledges, and for good services now 
rewards and concedes, and, by this present charter, confirms to Alexo de Meynis, 
knight, and Egidie Stewart, his spouse, to them and their heirs male descending, 
the whole barony of Dorisder, with fortlace, houses, and lands ; to the said 
Alexo and Egidie, his spouse, and their heirs male descending heritably, 
begotten of them legitimately, procreated by them, and their heirs, descending 
in succession, possession, and heritage, with full right of boundry, and continual free 
fue, with full office of high Bailliery herewith assigned ; and for its high 
office being fulfilled, from now and heritably to the said Alexi and Egidia, 
and those born the heirs of the said pair, descending and belonging, or 
coming from the said Alexi and Egidia' s bodies, to their heirs ; afterwards 
descending to such of them thus procreated, the whole of the said barony, with 
all its pertinents heritably, to the heirs of the said Alexi and his heirs whatsomever 
in full possession from the crown." — Registrum magni selgilli Scot., p. 38 (32). 
On a sidenote is " Vacat per resignaccem sub condiav." 

This is the first grant of lands given to the Menzies' in the southern 
parts of Scotland, and went to lay the foundation of the ancient branch of 
the clan in Durrisdeer and Enouch in Dumfriesshire. The barony of Durrisdeer 
contains the village of Durrisdeer, and is situated on the north of Nithsdale, 
being bounded on the north by Lanarkshire. The length of the barony of 
Durrisdeer may be measured by its parish, which is 7^ miles long by 5^ miles at 
its greatest breadth, with an area of about 29 miles. In the northern parts 
it is bleak, inhospitable, and highland in its aspect. Hills and mountains 
press so tumultuously upon the glens, that a tourist in following the winding 
paths is often puzzled to conceive how there could be an opening among 
the mountains and almost perpendicular heights, which seem to forbid his 
progress. The central, southern, and south-eastern sections of the barony 
are comparatively low in surface, and beauteous in their diversity. Here the 
river Nith intersects the barony over a distance, including sinuosities, of eight 
or nine miles ; all the way it luxuriates in much richness of scenery. From 
the narrow pass, with its shelving or precipitous banks clad in wood and 
foiled by rock and scaur, to the broad plain of Enouch, which surrounds 
the old castle, all is now cultivated like a garden and screened by the mountain 
barrier of the hills of Durrisdeer, amid which the present village nestles, and 
the site of the ancient fortress of the Menzies'. The basin of the river exhibits 
nearly every variety of landscape, astonishing the stranger who visits this region 
by the suddenness and beauty of its transitions. Other parts of the barony — ■ 
even its most cheerless and most rugged — are variegated, and tinged by the 
beauty of the courses of Carron Water and the burns of Kirk, Enterkin, and 

a.d. 1314-1315-] EARL MENZIES. 57 

Mar. The soil in the low parts is deep, loamy, and fertile. The uplands in 
the north-eastern border of the barony ascend to the watershed between the 
cisterns of the rivers Nith and Clyde, comprising the Lowther mountain, and 
enclosing the higher part of a remarkable Alpine pass, called the Wallpath, 
running between Nithsdale and Clydesdale. They contain the same rocks and 
minerals as in the neighbouring mines of Wanlockhead and Leadhills, which 
are said to have been first opened up and wrought by the Menzies' on getting 
possession of the barony after the battle of Bannockburn, to which they brought 
a number of their clansmen, skilled in the art of metal mining, from the Highlands 
of Athole to the Highlands of Dumfriesshire. At these mines there is found gold, 
silver, copper, and great quantities of lead, and they are still wrought successfully. 
About one-half of the barony is waste or pasture land, and about 2000 acres 
under wood. The village of Durrisdeer stands on the Kirk Burn about three and a 
half miles from Carron Bridge, and is now a most sequestered place. In the 
church of Durrisdeer the Clan Menzies branch, who afterwards held it, erected 
an aisle called " The Menzies Aisle," where they also raised an altar to the 
"Virgin Mary." This aisle, on the Drumlanrig Douglases getting Durrisdeer, 
was gutted out, and now contains the vulgar Italian marble monumental 
sculptures to the second Duke of Queensberry and his duchess. Many of the 
old sculptured stones of the Menzies' are now built into the wall of the graveyard 
which surrounds the " Auld Kirk o' Durrisdeer " ; but the Menzies altar of 
Durrisdeer is now gone. North of the church is the pass of Durrisdeer, called 
" The Wallpath," where are the vestiges of a Roman camp. Along the Wallpath 
the great Roman road from Nithsdale passed, to join in Lanarkshire the road thither 
from Annandale. 

The great assistance rendered during the War of Independence by Clan 
Menzies and their chief, Earl Alexander the Menzies, with his three sons, Sir Robert, 
Sir Thomas, and Sir Alexander, and at the battle of Bannockburn — together with 
their being the relations of the Bruce, as Earl Alexander was married on Egidia, 
the sister of Walter the Steward, who married Marjory, the daughter of King 
Robert the Bruce, thus making the sons of the Chief of the Menzies' the nephews 
of the King's daughter, the Lady Marjory Bruce, the cousins of King David II. 
and of Robert II., the latter being the nephew of their mother, Egidie Stewart — 
these ties of blood, with the achievements of Earl Alexander the Menzies, gave 
the Menzies' a high standing at the court of the Bruce. This is well exemplified 
by Nisbet, who says that Sir Alexander the Menzies was a frequent witness to 
the charters of King Robert the Bruce, and " particularly he was a witness to 
the grant made to Gilbertus de Haya of the office of Lord High Constable of 
Scotland in 1315, and it is observable he is inserted in the charter before Sir 
Robert Keith, Marischal of Scotland ; from which it may be supposed that at 


THE "RED cV WHITE" BOOK OF MENZIES. [ad. 1314-1316. 

that time he enjoyed some place of considerable rank, otherwise he never would 
have had the preference of the Marischal." 

This near connection through marriage with the Bruce royal family through 
that of the Steward doubtless strengthened the friendship which existed between 


the Bruce and the Menzies ; and it would appear that, at the request of Bruce, 
Sir Alexander the Menzies, as Lord of Glendochart, granted about the year 13 16 
considerable privileges to the Church of Saint Fillan in Glendochart, and the 
custodians or dewars of the Crosier of Saint Fillan, the patron saint of King 

a.d. I3i4-i3 l6 -] 



Robert the Bruce, who had the reliques of that saint carried in front of the Scottish 
army by Mauritius, who is considered among the last of the old ecclesiastical 
race of Menzies' who were educated at Dull, before its college was removed to 
St Andrews about 13 14. This Menzies, or — as his name has been corrupted to — 
Mauritius, was made Abbot of Inchafferey, an abbey on the banks of the Pow, 
in Perthshire, in the southern borders of the Menzies lands, a few miles from 
Crieff. This Menzies abbot probably had a son, who was made the custodian of 
the Crosier, Quigrich, or Cogerach of St Fillan. It is recorded that Earl Alexander 


the Menzies, as Lord of the Barony of Glendochart, about 13 16 gave a letter of 
confirmation of the lands of Eych in Glendochart, to Donald MacSoberell, De-war, 
Cogerach. The document is now lost, but the title remains in an old inventory — 
MacSoberell meaning the son of the Menzies, with the cheeks of a broken red 
and white colour, or similar to red-clover blossom ; or the son of the clover-coloured 
Menzies, who from his office was called Dewar in Gaelic, meaning custodian or 
keeper. From this Menzies Dewar descended heritably those keepers of St Fillan's 

60 THE "RED d- WHITE" BOOK OF MENZIES. [a.d. 1316-1320. 

crosier, who carried on the rights and privileges of the office of Cogerach and its 
Dewars, in the main unimpaired, and they may be considered a branch sept of 
Clan Menzies. In the course of a century afterwards the ancient rights of the 
Dewars began to be questioned, and in 1428 we find them authenticated, by 
verdict of an inquest held by the Menzies' Bailie of Glendochart on the authority 
and privileges of a certain relique of St Fillan, commonly called the Coygerach, 
which we now know to be the silver crosier-head preserved in the Museum of the 
Society of Antiquaries of Scotland at Edinburgh. This crosier is one of the 
reliques of St Fillan, carried in front of the Scottish army on the field of 
Bannockburn by Menzies, the Abbot of St Fillan ; from whom descend those of 
the name of Dewar, whose descendants in 1487 had their privileges of the Cogerach 
confirmed by letters under the privy seal of King James III., which records that 
" Malise Doire and his forbeairs have had ' ane relik of Sanct Fullane, callit the 
Ouegrich, in hereditary custoday,' from the time of King Robert Bruce and before." 
A Malise Doire appears as the Dewar of the Quigrich in the document of 
14th February 1549. It is significant of the tenacity with which the Dewars 
clung to the relique itself that they got the missive letter of James III. registered 
as a probative writ at Edinburgh, 1st November 1734 ; and when the Dewars went 
to Canada it went with them, but was acquired from the present representatives 
of the family, Alexander Dewar of Plympton, in Canada, and his son and heir, 
Archibald Dewar, by the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland in 1877. — Dr Joseph 
Anderson, Trans. Soc. Antiq. Scot., vol. xii., p. 112, &c. 

Earl Alexander the Menzies must have died about the year 1320, being born 
about 1235. He succeeded to the estates and possessions of the Menzies' in 1266 ; 
thus he lived to the ripe old age of about eighty-seven years, notwithstanding 
the hardships he suffered, and the chains and imprisonment in the dungeons of 
England and the Tower of London, with the forced campaign under Edward I. 
in France, escaping then from the clutches of the English. He never submitted to 
degrade his name by the slightest act in favour of the usurper, and never signed 
the Ragman Roll — a boast that few names in Scotland can make. 

In 1320, when the Scottish Barons drew up their famous letter to the Pope, 
he appears to have been unable to attend that meeting, and delegated his son, 
Sir Thomas of Menzies, to represent him there. Thus we find the seal of 
Sir Thomas of Menzies appended to the letter of the Scottish Barons to the 
Pope, now in the Register House, Edinburgh, dated 1320. The seal represents 
a chief indented ; on the top of the shield is a small ornament, and on each side 
is a Celtic ornament like a lizard and " S. Thome D. Meineris." 

Chief Earl Alexander the Menzies, by his wife, Egidia Stewart (the sister of 
Walter, the Lord High Steward of Scotland, who married Marjory Bruce, the 
daughter of King Robert the Bruce), had three sons and one daughter — 

A.D. 1320-1329.] 



(1st) Sir Robert Menzies, his successor as chief, and afterwards Viscount or 
Earl of Edinburgh. 

(2nd) Sir Thomas of Menzies, who held the lands and barony of Garrioch, in 
Aberdeenshire, during his father's lifetime, and also the lands of "Umyne." He was 
one of the Scottish Barons who framed the letter to the Pope in 1320, to which 
he appended his seal. 

(3rd) Sir Alexander of Menzies, who got the lands of Durrisdeer after his 
father's death restored to him by James Stewart, to whom in the first instance 
(on the death of the chief, Sir Alexander) they went, as recorded by Robertson's 
Index, No. 82, p. 1 3 — " To James Stewart, brother of Walter Stewart of Scotland, 
the lands of Dorisdeir, in the valley of the Xeith, which Alexander Meinzies 
resigned " by his death. Following which these lands were re-transferred to this 
3rd son, Sir Alexander of Menzies, who had married Giles Stewart, daughter 
of this same Sir James Stewart, the brother of Walter the Lord High Steward, 
for which the young Sir Alexander Menzies got a charter, a copy of which — made 
in 1739 from the Register of the Great Seal, is No. 4 of the charters at Castle 
Menzies — records, " Charter by King Robert the Bruce to Alexander de Meyners, 
knight, and Giles Stewart, his spouse, of all and haill the Barony of Dorisder, 
with the pertinents : To be holden of his Majesty for service used and wont." 
No date, but must have been about 1323 to 1329. 


Sir John Stewart, who was killed at the Battle of Falkirk, 22nd July 1298, had by his wife Margaret, daughter of Sir Alex. Bonkill — 

1st 2nd 

Sir Alex, of Bonkill. Sir Alan of Dreghorn. 


Sir Walter of Dalswinton, 

He married Marjory Bruce, 

daughter of King Robert 

the Bruce, and had an only 

son, Robert Stewart, 


Sir John of Jedburgh. 

King Robert II. of Scotland. 

cousin to Sir Robert Menzies 

Viscount Menzies. 

5th Daughter i 
Sir James of Preston. Isobella. 

Giles Stewart. 

She married 

Sir Alex. Menzies 

of Durrisdeer. *- 


Egidia Stewart, 

who married 

Sir Alexander 

the Menzies, 

and had 

only daughter. 

Sir Robert the Menzies Sir Thomas of Garrioch. 

Viscount Menzies, 

cousin to King Robert II. 

Married Margaret de Oyth, and 

got with her the lands of 

Ceres, &c, 

and had three sons. 

3rd Annabella. | 

Sir Alexander of Durrisdeer, 

who married his cousin, 

Giles Stewart, the daughter 

of Sir James Stewart, 

of Preston. * 

Cbtef Xoro IRobert tbe " flfte^bnets," IkniQbt, Discount or 
£arl fIDcn3ies, 42no from Ikimj flDa^nus, 5tb Baron 
of fn>eu3tes. 

Lord High Sheriff of Edinburgh, 
a.d. 1 267- 1 346. 

XORD ROBERT THE MENZIES, Knight, on the death of his father, 
Earl Alexander the Menzies, succeeded to the greater part of his vast 
possessions. Mclan says, " To Robert the elder son of this Potent Chief 
descended those great estates of Fortingall, Weem and Aberfeldy in 
Athole, Glendochart in Braidalban, and many others." To these may also be added 
all the lands of Loch Tay — north, south, east and west — including Glenlyon, Garth, 
Glenquich, Finlarig, Glenorchy, and the vast stretch of country known as Mamlorn, 
then stretching to the shores of Loch Lomond and Lochfine. In his father's 
lifetime he had got the lands of Fernacliie or Fearnan, which extends from the west 
of the port of Loch Tay to about Paderleigh on the west, including the lands of 
Kinghallion on the north, which at this time included Drummond Hill ; likewise he 
got the lands of Gowlantine, now Glengowlandie, in the abthanage of Dull Vi de 
Perth. — Nisbet, p. 244, vol. ii. This glen stretches from Drummond Hill and 
Coshieville right north to Loch Rannoch, including Tychurrain, Hiochmore, 
Pitcuril, and other places which were embodied in these names, all of which his 
father held charters for. There is still preserved at Castle Menzies an old copy of a 
charter, granted to Sir Robert the Menzies in i32i,on his succeeding to the estates, 
as follows : — 

" Notarial Transumpt of a Charter by Robert de Bruse, lord Ledilisaill [also 
designated in the confirmation No. 7 infra, dearest brother of King David Bruce], 
to Sir Robert Menzeis, knight, for his homage and service, of the lands of Fornauchi 
and Goulentyn, in the ' Abthen of Dull, in the shire of Perth, with the men of the 
said lands : to be held by the said Robert and his heirs male of his body for 
rendering " forinsec " service to our lord the King,' so far as pertained to so much 
land, and three suits yearly in the court of the Abthen of Dull, at three head pleas 
to be held there." 

a.d. 1321-1326.] VISCOUNT MENZIES. 63 

Sir W. Fraser says that this charter bears no date, but it was granted before 
1326, probably 1 321. The witnesses are : — Thomas Ranulph, Earl of Moray, lord of 
Annandale and Man ; Patrick de Dunbar, Earl of March ; Walter Steward of 
Scotland ; James de Douglas ; John de Moray of Drumsergarth ; Andrew de 
Moray, lord of Botheuyl ; Archibald de Douglas. — Transumpt at Edinburgh, 2nd 
June 1439 — Charter Room, Castle Menzies, No. 3. 

For the sake of connection we give the extract of No. 7 referred to 
above, which is also in the Charter Room of Castle Menzies ; and it is worthy 
of note that one of the witnesses to No. 3 is Walter the Lord High Steward 
of Scotland, the uncle of Sir Robert the Menzies, and whose son was after- 
wards King Robert the Second of Scotland and cousin to Sir Robert the 
Menzies, and who also appears as one of the witnesses at the confirmation, which 
is as follows : — 

" Transumpt of a confirmation of the Charter (No. 3 hereof) by David, King 
of Scots, who designates the granter ' Robert de Brus,' our dearest brother, ' dated at 
Lindoris, 6th January, 14th year of the King's reign, 1342.' The witnesses are: — 
William, Bishop of Saint Andrews ; Robert, Steward of Scotland, the King's 
nephew ; John Ranulph, Earl of Moray, lord of Annandale and Man, the King's 
kinsman ; Duncan, Earl of Fife ; Patrick de Dunbar, Earl of March ; Matthew 
Flemyng, Maurice de Moray, and Thomas de Carnot, Chancellor, Knights." — 
Transumpt of 1439, No. 7, Charter Room, Castle Menzies. 

Nisbet, in referring to the above, says : " He got them in his father's lifetime, 
wherein he is designated his son and heir, and also the lands of Weem and 
Aberfeldy ; and he likewise received through " David de Strathlogy, Earl of Athol, 
and Constable of Scotland," acting for the king, " the lands of the thanage 
of Cranach." 

Sir Robert the Menzies, soon after succeeding to his Highland possessions, had 
additional honours bestowed upon him, but they were in connection with the 
Lowlands ; and perhaps these were granted for the assistance rendered by him to 
Bruce shortly after he had succeeded to the chiefship of the Meinerich, as the 
following events of history seem to indicate. 

In the year 1322 King Robert the Bruce, on the second great invasion of 
Scotland by Edward II. of England, withdrew everything that might render 
subsistence to the English between the Borders and the river Forth, leaving 
nothing but a wilderness to pass through — the face of the fertile lowlands being one 
tract of blackness, where nothing could be had, either for man or beast. The 
English fleet being detained by weather with the provisions of their army, the 
invaders were compelled through starvation to beat a retreat back to England, and 
were closely followed by the Bruce, who, with his band of Highlanders, fell upon 
their detached parties, cutting them down, and pursuing them to the English border, 

64 THE "RED & WHITE" BOOK OF MENZIES. [ad. i 326-1327. 

where he besieged Norham Castle. Edward continued his flight as far as Biland 
Abbey in Yorkshire, where he heard that Bruce had given up the siege of Norham, 
and gone home. Scarcely had this good news reached him, when the advanced 
guard of the Scottish army hove in sight, and Edward had only time to draw his 
army up on a ridge, accessible only by a narrow pass. This, with a chosen body of 
knights, Douglas attacked, but was received by the English with great bravery. 
Bruce, whose keen eye watched every circumstance, determined to repeat the 
manoeuvre by which he had defeated Lorn, who had occupied a similar position. 
He commanded the men of the Highlands — consisting of the clans Stewart, 
Menzies, under their chief Sir Robert the Menzies, Robertson, Macgregor, 
Macdonald, Fraser, Macleod, Maclean and others, from Athole, Argyle, and the 
Isles — to climb the rocky ridge at some distance from the pass, and to attack and 
turn the flank of the English army which held the summit. These orders the 
Menzies' and the other mountaineers, trained in their own country to this species 
of warfare, found no difficulty in obeying. The Menzies' and the other Highland 
clans on reaching the summit drove the English from their strong position on the 
heights with great slaughter. At this point Douglas again attacked the pass at 
the head of the Scottish knights and carried it, completely routing the enemy. 
After this disastrous defeat of the English, which was mainly accomplished 
through the bravery of the Highlanders, with the consequent flight of Edward II., 
the Scots plundered the whole country north of the Humber. It is after this 
victorous expedition — apparently for his, and his hardy clansmen's services — that we 
find the Chief, Sir Robert the Menzies, designated as " Vi Count," or " Earl, 
Menzies of Edinburgh." In 1326 the uncle of Sir Robert died. He was Walter 
the Lord High Steward, who married the daughter of Bruce (Marjory), and brother 
of the mother of Sir Robert Menzies. He did good service for Scotland at 
Bannockburn, and greatly distinguished himself by his brave defence of Berwick. 
The result of the foregoing defeat of the English, and the campaign of 1327, was 
to force England to acknowledge Robert the Bruce as King of Scotland, and 
Scotland itself a free and independent kingdom for ever, which was confirmed on 
the 1st March 1327. 

The assistance rendered by Sir Robert the Menzies and the Clan Menzies so 
pleased the Bruce that he made Sir Robert the Menzies the Lord High Sheriff 
of Edinburgh, who after 1327 is frequently mentioned in the accounts of the 
Lord High Treasurer of Scotland as Lord Robert the Menzies, Viscount or 
Earl of Edinburgh. In the same year, 1327, we find an entry where he is 
recorded as making a statement regarding " the tenth penny of his Vicecomitis 
of Edinburgh, Haddington, and Lothian." He is also named in connection with 
Aberlady, as Lord Robert the " Meygeneris Vicecomitis of Edinburgh'.' — Orig. Ex. 
Account L. H. T of Scot. 

a.d. 1328.] VISCOUNT MENZIES. 65 

Earl Robert the Menzies appears to have been one of the representative 
Scottish magnates, who were at the final adjustment of the independence of 
Scotland, which was ratified by a Parliament at Northampton, 4th March 1328. 
He was thereafter ordained by King Robert the Bruce to receive the dues or 
contributions for defraying the expenses connected with bringing about the 
peace between the two nations, whereby Scotland was to be a free and 
independent nation for ever ! As soon as the Scottish representatives had 
returned from England, Bruce summoned a Parliament to meet him at Scone 
on the 23rd June 1328, and at this Parliament the chief, Viscount Robert the 
Menzies, submitted an account of his dues for the peace, of which the following 
is a translation : — 

" Robert the Meygneres, Sheriff of Edinburgh, his account regarding the 

contribution for peace. 
" The reckoning of Lord Robert the Menzies, Vice Comitis of Edinburgh, 
discharged at Scone on the 23rd of June 1328, under the said contribution 
aforesaid and concluded herewith the sum of £200, 47s. 5d. ; being the 
contribution foresaid, for the tenth part of the Bailie's custum, namely of 
Edinburgh, Hadington, and of Linlithgow, from the burgesses of the king's 
barony. And also 3s. iod. for the tenth part of the Burgh of Muselburgh at 
the term of ' Pentecostes' being reckoned, and 2s. & 3d. also for the 10th part of 
the Burgh of Aberledy at the said terms, and £4, 4s. id. for the tenth part from 
the possessions of the Lord the. King in the Bailliship, accounted for at the said 
terms." — Exch. Rolls of Scot. 

Earl Menzies had also at this and other Parliaments the supervising of 
the commissariat or purveying ; together with reports of revenue by the dues 
upon corn and other grain. The report which he submitted to this first 
Parliament as translated reads : — 

" Robert the Meygneris, his report and accounts clearly and freely dis- 

"For the burdens or Dues on 12 celdris of Grain for demand accounted, 
collected, and paid. 3 barrellis good grain for transfer over the tenth of the 
whole whatever as patent by the account of Robert the Meygneris, for the 
provisions for the King and Parliament when sitting at Edinburgh, as by letters 
of his received by the hand of William of Kyngorn, and discharged 3 celdras and 
8 bolls of this as payment from John of Dunfermline, clearly discharged by 
letters of receipt. 1 pipam and 3 barrells of this discharging the sum of the 
expenses paid in such part by good grain. Also paid in grain 8 celdras and 
8 bollas. 23rd June 1328." — Notl. Sacra. Reg. Scot. 

There is also another entry of his management of the affairs connected 
with this Parliament, which is as follows : — 

66 THE "RED 6- WHITE" BOOK OF MENZIES. [a.d. i 328-1 329. 

" Robert of Meygneris, Commissirat or Purveyor for the Parliaments of 

1327 and 1328. 

" For the dues from 3 bollis meal by price calculated by him as before ; 
and of 8 celdris ; 8 bollis meal proven ; and of 17 celdris ; also of the sum 
received of 8 celdre and 9 bolls, of which account is clearly discharged by 
letter of receipt ; 2 celdris of meal, the which is accounted for, and Robert the 
Meygneris proclaimed that over 4 celdras and 3 bollas, the which is reconed ; 
also for milk in ship by sea 4 bollas, the amount of expense 8 celdre 8 bolle, 
and as debit 4 bollis. 

" For the fees on the 4 scoar and 8 celdris and small bollas as per price 
received by him in the foregoing. Amount received and paid of which account 
Earl Lord Robert of Meygneris proclaimed that over 19 celdras and 12 bolls of 
which were discharged, and as man sent with letter the sum of recepts was 
10 celdras the which is paid, and by milk in ship by sea 4 bollas. Amount 
hitherto expended 30 celdre and such debit 58 celdras, and reduced bols." 1328. 
— Ex. Rolls Scot., p. 120, vol. i. 

The tact which Earl Robert the Menzies, Viscount of Edinburgh, showed 
in managing the affairs of Parliament, and also his great assistance to King 
Robert the Bruce in raising the money to defray the expenses connected with 
procuring Scottish independence, gave him a great deal of labour ; and the 
frequent record of these transactions in the Exchequer Rolls of Scotland remain 
as a proof of his ability as a Lord of the Exchequer, and the confidence 
placed in him by Robert the Bruce. We find another of these record reports 
of the revenue received and paid by him into the treasury of King Robert the 
Bruce in 1329, which says: — 

" Robert of Meigneres, Sheriff of Edinburgh, his account regarding the 

contribution for peace. 

"For amount of meal given by him 57 celdris 13 bolles by arrangement 
paid as accounted before; and of 18 celdris for support of ' Bothkenner,' from 
the tenth part of grain before this given in his contribution ; and of 40 celdris for 
disposal granted over the amount received of grain, 5 scoar and 1 5 celdre 1 3 bolle, 
the which amount is contributed by said Lord Robert of Meigneres, Vi-count 
of Edenburgh ; 8 celdres of these being given and the same by letter acknowledged 
as received ; 8 bollas of said grain by the lord of Meneteth ; given up to the King 
4 celdars from Murielle of Cambov ; given to the King 1 celdram from Earle of 
Marr; given to the King 5 celdras; and the same Earl gives to the King by another 
letter 2 celdras." — Ex. Rolls., p. 179, vol. i. 

From the lost national manuscripts of charters, but of which Robertson 
brought to light an index, we find that about the year 1328 Sir Thomas of Menzies, 
the brother of the Chief Lord Robert the Menzies, got the lands and barony of 

a.d. 1329.] VISCOUNT MENZIES. 67 

Fortingall, which his father and ancestors had held, and which was confirmed 

by a charter of King Robert the Bruce to the lands of FotJiergill in Atholia, 


The barony and lands of Fortingall are represented by the present parish of 

that name, and occupied the chief part of the north-western division of Perthshire, 

the length of the barony being about 40 miles, and the breadth about 30 miles. In 

circumference along the sinuosities of the boundary line it measures about 130 

miles, and its area about 450,000 acres. Within its boundary lie Glenlyon, Rannoch, 

Ericht, Lydoch, and Garry, with their lands and lochs. It marches with Badenoch 

in the north, Blair Athole in the north-east, Glenorchy, Appin, and Lochaber to the 

west, and interlaces with the other Menzies baronies of Weem, Dull, Glendochart, 

Disher, and Toyer, and others, all at this time the property of Clan Menzies. 

The whole barony lies among the Grampians, is exceedingly mountainous, and 

is strongly Highland in its character, with ever-changing scenes of savage 

grandeur, varying views of romantic beauty, towering mountains, cleft into ridges 

by torrents and ravines, clad with mountain-ash on the acclivities of their sides, 

with broad shoulders of " Menzies heath "-clad mountains, sylvan braes, and the 

far-stretching lochs of Rannoch and Ericht, rendering the barony of Fortingall 

eminently Highland — its most remarkable mountain being Schiehallion. The 

village of Fortingall stands at the west end of the Appin of the Menzies', about 

7 miles west from Castle Menzies, on the lower part of the course of the river 

Lyon. The vale of Fortingall is about 6 miles long, and about half-a-mile in 

breadth, with mountains coming gradually down upon its gentle beauties, which 

are adorned with groves, and the nestling clachan sublimely yet softly picturesque 

in its vale. It is surrounded with such a phalanx of Alpine mountains that 

a stranger might think ingress or egress to be impracticable. In the churchyard 

stands the celebrated yew-tree which was there when one of the progenitors 

of the Clan Menzies (Metellanus) entertained the Roman ambassador, the remains 

of whose encampment is still to be seen at the west end of the vale. There are 

many circular forts in the barony of Fortingall, from 30 to 50 feet in diameter, 

built of vast blocks of stone by the Menzies' in ages gone. It is difficult to 

conceive how they could have been placed there unless by machinery, showing 

that our Highland forefathers had inventive faculties, as these forts clearly prove. 

The height of their walls is inconsiderable, and they are almost all in view 

of one another, and formed a chain of watch-towers through the centre of the 

Menzies' country, extending from Dunkeld through Fortingall into Argyleshire. 

Two of these forts are much larger than the others with outworks. At the 

east end of the barony, not far from Coshieville on the banks of Keltny burn, 

stands Garth Castle, at this time considered impregnable, built upon a precipitous 

rocky promontory and cut off by converging deep chasms, with the brawling 

F 2 

68 THE "RED & WHITE" BOOK OF MENZIES. [a.d. 1329-1330. 

burn running round it. When Sir Thomas Menzies possessed it there was a 
ditch and drawbridge. Farther up Glenlyon is Castle Bann, also at this time 
inhabited by Sir Thomas Menzies. It stands on a high projecting rock, 
overlooking a sharp turn in the present road, guarding the entrance of the 
glen. This sketch gives but a faint idea of the vast extent of land re-embodied 
in the title of the charter conveying Fortingall to this branch of the clan, then 
represented by Sir Thomas Menzies. 

Shortly after these transactions connected with the Scottish Exchequer and 
Parliaments, in which Lord Robert the Menzies figures, as recorded in the preceding 
extracts, King Robert the Bruce died at Cardross, 7th June 1329, in the fifty-fifth 
year of his age, and with his dying breath commissioned " the good Sir James 
Douglas " to carry his heart to the Holy Land, and bury it in the Holy Sepulchre. 
His heart was extracted, embalmed, and delivered to Douglas, who, attended by a 
splendid retinue of knights and chiefs — among whom was Chief Lord Robert the 
Menzies (whose name disappears from the records from about this time)— sailed from 
Scotland in June 1330. On reaching Sluys, in Flanders, Douglas learned that 
Alphonso, the young king of Leon and Castile, in the south of Spain, was at war 
with Osmun, the Moorish King of Granada. With the intention of fighting against 
the Infidels, he and his faithful followers joined Alphonso's army. The combined 
forces came in sight of the enemy near Tebas, a castle on the frontiers of Andalusia, 
when the Moors and Saracens were defeated with great slaughter ; but Douglas, 
giving way to his impetuous valour, pursued them too eagerly, and, in attempting 
to rejoin the main force, perceived Sir Walter St Clair of Roslin surrounded by a 
body of Moors who had suddenly rallied. With the few followers he had with him, 
Douglas turned hastily to the rescue of his comrades, followed closely by Lord 
Robert the Menzies. He was, however, nearly overpowered by numbers, who 
persistently pressed upon him. Taking from his neck the silver casket containing 
the heart of the great Bruce, he threw it on before him among the thickest of 
the enemy, saying, " Now, pass onward before us, gallant heart, as thou wert wont, 
Douglas will follow thee or die!" To this Lord Robert the Menzies responded, 
" Toilleadh Die e s ni mis e," or, " God will it ; I'll do it !" From this circumstance, 
it is said, the motto of the Menzies' was taken, which is, " Vil God, I zal," in answer 
to the cry of Douglas, " Pass forward," or corrupted into our modern British, " God 
will, I shall." Douglas, charging among the Infidels, was overpowered and slain. 
The Moor, or Saracen, who gave him his death-blow, is said to have lost his head 
by the hand of Chief Robert the Menzies, for which service he received as a crest 
the head of a Saracen or Moor, which is still the crest of the Chief Menzies of 
Menzies. Thus the brave and good Sir James Douglas, with the greater part of his 
warriors, were slain. His body, with the casket, was found on the field and 
brought back, along with the surviving Scottish chiefs and knights. The heart 

a.d. 1330-1332.] VISCOUNT MENZIES. 69 

of the Bruce was afterwards deposited at Melrose, and the body of Sir James 
Douglas at Dunfermline. 

During the lifetime of his father, Sir Robert the Menzies got a charter from 
him of the lands of Weem and Aberfeldy in Atholl. This charter must have been 
granted about 1 318, but not later than 1320. Under these two names are, at this 
date, implied the whole lands of Strath Tay, from about where Ballinluig is to-day 
up to Loch Tay itself. The document reads thus : — 

" Charter by Sir Alexander de Meygners, son and heir of Sir Robert de 
Mengners, to Sir Robert de Meygners, his son, for his homage and service to the 
granter's lord superior, the Earl of Atholl, of the granter's land of Weme and 
Abbirfeallibeg in Atholl. To be held for payment to the Earl of Atholl of one 
penny sterling yearly, at Whitsunday, rendering the ' forinsec ' service of the king 
that pertained to so much land, and three suits yearly at the three head courts of 
the lord superior's court at Rath in Atholl. The witnesses are : Robert, Steward 
of Scotland (afterwards Robert II.); John Rannulph, Earl of Moray; Patrick de 
Donbar, Earl of March ; Andrew de Moray, Lord of Bothewyle ; Robert de Keth, 
Marischal of Scotland ; John de Cambron, Lord of Balligernach, Knights ; 
Alexander de Meygners, grandson (nepos) of the granter, Lord of Forthirgyll 
(Fortingall) and others." — Charter Room, Castle Menzies, No. 5. 

No date, but Sir William Fraser says, granted in 1332, "as in that year Keith 
died, and Randolph became Earl of Moray." Then following upon this another 
charter was granted, confirming the Menzies' in their native possessions and 
Thaneage of Cranach, Achmore, &c. &c. These embodied the whole lands of Loch 
Tay, under the name Cranich, on the lands of Balnasuim, Balnahanaid, Easter and 
Wester Tombreck, Cragganester, Craggontoll, &c. These were in the parish of 
Weem, and included the land surrounding Ben Lawers and the whole mountain. 
The lands of Auchmore are on the south-west of Loch Tay, and included part of 
Glendochart and other lands, which are also embodied in this charter : — " Charter 
by David de Strabolgy (for the king), Earl of Atholl and Constable of Scotland, 
to his beloved and faithful ' confideratus,' Sir Robert de Meygners, knight, son of 
Sir Alexander de Meygners, for his homage and service, of the whole thanage of 
Cranach, in the earldom of Atholl, with all the lands of Cranach, Achmore, &c. 
To be held for rendering to the earl and his heirs the service of an archer in the 
army of the King of Scotland, and three suits at the granter's head court at Rath 
in Atholl. The witnesses are : Robert the Steward ; John Rannulphi, Earl of 
Moray ; Patrick de Dunbar, Earl of March ; Andrew de Moray, Lord of 
Bothewyle ; Patrick de Carnock, Knights ; Symon de Sawelton, Chamberlain to 
the Earl; Henry de Wollor {Circa. 1332)." — Charter Room of Castle Menzies, 
No. 6. 

During the reign of David II., Robert the Steward was the guardian of 

70 THE "RED & WHITE'" BOOK OF MENZIES. [a.d. 1332. 

Scotland, and as cousin of Earl Robert the Menzies, assigned to him the lands and 
rents of Obyne, near Balmoral, including Dunnottar Castle. These evidently were 
taken from Reginald More for assisting Edward Baliol, and given for services to 
Chief Robert the Menzies ; but as Reginald had to fly from Scotland, and not 
knowing that Lord Menzies had got his lands, he wrote instructing Adam of 
Bothirgask to collect his rents. His reply is preserved among the national 
manuscripts, dated 1332, and is as follows : — 

"1332. From the National Manuscripts of Scotland, page 29, vol. ii., "also 
as to the rents of Obyne, assigned of the said Reginald by our lord the guardian, 
Adam says that they never by fault of his remain unpaid but by the assignation 
of our lord the guardian, made to Sir Robert of Meyners and Sir John Cabr, 
knights, by letters patent of our lord the guardian." That it was not through the 
fault of the said Adam is evident, because the said Reginald could no more demand 
the rents of Obyne for the term of Martinmas while he himself was present, than 
the said Adam could demand the said rents for the term of Whitsunday while the 
said Reginald was absent." The lands of Aboyne are about thirteen miles long, 
and at their greatest breadth about twelve miles. Lord Robert the Menzies had 
the greater part of them covered by one of the finest forests in the country. In 
holding these lands he also held the Castle of Aboyne, and is said to have been the 
governor of the Castle of Dunnottar. This, with the other possessions held by his 
brother, Sir Thomas Menzies, consisting of the whole barony and lands of the 
Garrioch and other parts, made Clan Menzies one of the most powerful in the 
Highlands of Aberdeenshire, and they materially assisted in driving the Baliol 
faction out of the country. It is something for local history to know that Reginald 
More was succeeded by Sir Robert the Menzies as " lord of lands at Kincardine 
O'Neil and the Mearns, including the ancient Keep of Dunoter, about the year 
I 33 2 "- —Chamberlain Rolls. 

Viscount Robert the Menzies married Margaret de Oyoth, Uyoth, or Evioth, 
which family, afterwards called Evioth of Busey, was of considerable note, and sub- 
sisted till the reign of King James the Sixth, when Colin Eviot of Busey was forfeited 
for his share in the Gowrie conspiracy. This lady was one of the daughters and 
heirs-portioners of Sir David de Oyoth, knight. By this marriage the Menzies' got 
the lands of Syres, now called Ceres, in Fifeshire. Ceres is a town and also a parish 
that extends for seven or eight miles in length by about four miles broad, with an 
area of about 8000 acres. It is pleasantly and even picturesquesly diversified, the 
whole consisting of a beautiful valley screened by Tarvet Hill and Magus Moor. 
The town of Ceres stands two-and-a-half miles south-east of Cupar, on the road to 
Pittenweem, which may have got its name from the Menzies' village and possessions 
of Weem in Perthshire. They also got the lands of Caffyndoly, now called 
Cassindilla, adjoining Ceres ; the lands of Balquy, now Balcarlsward ; and the lands 

a.d. 1332-1334.] VISCOUNT MENZIES. 71 

of Craigneir, now Craighall, near Ceres, where there is also a beautiful old tower 
24 feet square and 50 feet high — the walls are of jointed stone and very thick, and 
the windows small, the whole surmounted by a battlement, doubtless the work 
of the old Menzies chiefs. They likewise got the lands of Caluge, now Gilston, 
two-and-a-half miles south-east of Ceres, with a village of about fifty-one 
houses. The following is a translation of the charter of these possessions given to 
Sir Robert Menzies : — 

"June "jth 1329 to Feb. 22nd 1371. 

" David, by the Grace of God, King of Scotland : Be it knowen unto all men 
that I approve of the gift by deed conveyed and granted to Margareta Ovyot, 
daughter and only heir of Sir David Ovyot, knight, spouse of Sir Robert of 
Meygner's, knight, made and conceded by Richard Ovyot, her brother, together the 
whole lands given over of Caffyndoly, and total lands of Balquy, and of Craigneir, 
and the total lands of Calauge, and these entire lands and buildings, together with 
water and fishings of ' Seyres,' with castle, in the shire of Fife, belonging and held 
by the said Richard and his heirs and asygnees, in full possession and heritage by 
one straight boundary to subsist with the whole and border parts free, thus given 
and assigned, and these with his otherwise extensive and great lands, and the open 
water and fishings in full possession, together with towers and strengths, in future 
to be free and peacefully possessed intirely and honourably in whole and as hereby, 
this said charter to Margaret by Richard, after completing, is in full interity and 
possession of this gift. — Salutation, with the first knowledge and consent of the 
king, and witnessed and confirmed at the monestary of Lindoris, nth day of 
August 1334." — David II., Reg. Gt. Seal, p. 40-1, 1334. 

Lady Menzies, his wife, is also referred to by Robertson in a charter — " confirm 
donationis quani Margareta Ouyot filia una heredum David de Ouyot militis spousa 
Robert de Meygneris, &c. &c." — granted by King David II. 

After the death of the great King Robert the Bruce, his son David Bruce, eight 
years of age, was crowned at Scone. Randolph (the Regent) died suddenly, and 
Marr (nephew of the king) was chosen Regent. This nobleman was in every way 
unfitted for so arduous a position. A few days after these events, Edward Baliol, 
with the disinherited barons, landed at Wester Kinghorn, and advanced to Dun- 
fermline, where he soon collected a force of over 2000 men, then pushed on to Perth, 
where he gained the Battle of Dupplin Moor, after which he was crowned king ; 
but the crown which he had thus gained he lost in three weeks at Annan, where he 
was defeated and forced to fly to England. Edward III. made this a pretext to 
invade Scotland, to assist Baliol to regain the crown. This was so far accomplished 
in the southern parts of Scotland that the lands of those who had remained firm to 
King David were confiscated and given to those who had come to put the usurper 
on the throne. Of those who remained steadfast to the cause of Bruce was Sir 

72 THE "RED &> WHITE" BOOK OF MENZIES. [a.d. 1334-1336. 

Alexander Menzies, the brother of the Chief Sir Robert the Menzies. Sir Alexander 
had got the lands of Durrisdeer from his father, and they had again reverted on his 
death to the Stewarts, but on Sir Alexander's marriage to Giles Stewart (a daughter 
of James the High Steward and guardian's uncle), Durrisdeer once more came into 
his hands, and was in the hands of Sir Alexander Menzies when Scotland was 
invaded by Edward III. The village of Durrisdeer stands at the entrance of a 
narrow mountain pass or gorge, and commands the passage or road between 
Dumfriesshire and Edinburghshire. On this invasion of the English, tradition says 
that Sir Alexander Menzies held this stronghold against the English army, 
who beseiged it for three days before they captured it ; and on the English taking 
possession of the country, they confiscated the lands of Sir Alexander Menzies and 
Annabella Menzies of Redhall, Colmanston, &c, with all they had. This is shown 
by the following record from the English Calendar of Documents relating to 
Scotland : — 

"A.D. 1335-36. The Barony of Redhall, confiscated as spoil by the King of 
England from the said Alexander of Meyners, to the value of ^22, is. 4d. rental 
per annum, payable at the term of Saint Martin by 20s., and no less excuse for 
same. The lands of Bonalyn, forfeited as spoil by the King of England from said 
Annabella of Meigners, and which rents are £71, 8s. 9d. value per annum, and the 
sum of 55s. iod., and no less sum for same. The other high lands of Colmanston 
in full extent, as spoil by the King of England forfeited from the said Alexander of 
Meignes, and the sum of 66s. 8d. value, not accounted because of such powers from 
the crown from the time of his account. The third part of the unpreserved lands of 
Colmanston in all, as spoil by the king, and forfeited from Alexander (Menzies), 
and the sum of 33s. 4d. in all not accounted, and which crown powers hold in 
absence from time of his account." — Cal. Doc. re Scot., p. 333, vol. iii. 

The foregoing go to show that Alexander of Menzies, the brother of Viscount 
Robert, had possession of the lands of Redhall. These lands form part of the 
parish of Colinton, then called Colmanston, near Edinburgh, and extend to about 
four miles long by three-and-three-quarters broad. The surface of the land is 
beautifully varied, descending from the northern range of the Pentlands towards the 
plain of Corstorphine, with occasional bold undulations. Towards the north-east 
are the picturesque heights of Craiglockhart and Firr Hill. About a mile from the 
town of Colinton is Redhall, and adjacent is an old castle of the Menzies', not far 
from Craiglockhart. There is an extensive quarry of sandstone at Redhall, which 
a few years ago paid a yearly rental of £1 100. 

The lands of Annabella Menzies of " Bonalyn " are also in the parish of 
Colinton, and are now called Bonally, the old Menzies' tower of Bonally forming 
part of the present mansion, part of which is still to be seen. It is situated in a 
hollow pass through the Pentland Hills, and has a very interesting appearance, 

a.d. 1336-1337.] VISCOUNT MENZIES. 73 

being surrounded by high hills. The whole parish and lands of Colinton were held 
by Sir Alexander and Annabella of Menzies. Following close on this the English 
forfeited the lands of Vogrie, in Edinburghshire, possessed by Viscount Robert 
Menzies, the chief, for his adherence to the house of Bruce and Scotland, which 
he held probably as Sheriff of Edinburgh and the shire of Edinburgh. The entry 
of his forfeiture is thus recorded : — 

" 1 336-37- Sir Robert Meygneis forfeits his land of Wogrym" now Vogrie. 

" The lands of Wogrym, worth £6g, 1 2S. in all per annum, held as spoil by 
the King of England by the forfeiture of Roberti the Meygners, to the amount 
of 3s. for the time, being 8s. due from Roberti the Meygners to the Castle ward of 
Edinburgh unpaid." — Cal. Doc. re Scot., p. 381, vol. iii. 

Then close upon this record of Viscount Robert the Menzies having his lands 
confiscated comes the forfeiture of the lands of Sir Alexander of Menzies, 
consisting of the town of Barrowstoun or Borrowstowness, now called Bo'ness, 
within the lands and barony of Kinniel, for his adherence to the cause of King 
David II. We find both their names on the rolls of the disinherited Scots 
for defending the rights and independence of Scotland against the English, the 
record entry of which is here translated : — 

" 1337. Alexander Menzies forfeits Barrowstoun in the barony of Kynneil. 

" The lands of Berwardestone in the barony of Kynneil, which are worth, 
as accounted of before and called the barony of Kynneil, the sum of £66, 13d. 
in all per annum, and held as spoil by the King of England by the forfeiture of 
Alexandri of Meigners ; also of lis., and no less sum from same." — Cal. Doc. re 
Scot., p. 389, vol. iii. 

The Menzies' during this invasion had resisted the English in their march 
into Scotland, but were compelled to retreat to their Highland possessions, 
where the English could not and did not dare to follow. Viscount Robert the 
Menzies was, at the time of these confiscations, raising Clan Menzies and 
serving with the Scottish army in the north, which was opposing that of 
Edward Baliol. The entries of confiscation afford a valuable record of the 
condition of these parts of Scotland under English rule for two years, 1335-7. 
In these, the Menzies' and other patriotic adherents of King David and 
Scotland are seen to have been ousted from their possessions, which were 
mostly put into English hands, or those of lowland Scotsmen who preferred 
self-interest to that of their country. The English and their partisans made 
a clean sweep of all who would not submit to their yoke ; and the Scots, 
on the other hand, animated by the fiercest resentment, led by such men as 
Viscount Robert the Menzies, at the head of expert bodies of clansmen, cleared the 
open country, compelling them to keep within the castles in Linlithgow and 
Edinburgh shires ; and as a writer says : — -" The ' Highland and Scottish family 

74 THE " RED & WHITE" BOOK OF MENZIES. [a.d. 1337-1340. 

of Menzies were extensive proprietors of these districts — one of them as 
owner of Kinneil, afterwards identified with the surname of Hamilton ' and 
the present Duke, to which family these lands went by the marriage of 
Annabella Menzies to Sir David Hamilton." The barony of Barrowstowness, 
or Kinneil, extends in length to about four miles by two. From S.E. the ground 
descends from the hill of Glowr-o'er-em (530 feet high) to the tract of flat 
alluvium called the Carse of Kinniel. The site of the old seat is still occupied by 
an old house which bears the name and belongs to the Duke of Hamilton, 
her descendant. Antoninus' wall traversed this old Menzies barony, and the 
Romans had a fort here. 

The lands of Vogrie are in the parish of Borthwick, three miles S.E. of 
Dalkeith (in Edinburghshire), and contain the village of Dewarton, so named, 
may be, from some of the Dewars of the Menzies' having been brought down from 
Killin or Dull to strengthen their southern estates against the English. 

While matters were thus with Sir Alexander in the south, the chief was 
with the patriot army of the Earl of Athole in the north. Athole, at this time, 
was for King David, and in command of the Scottish army in the north ; 
but he was a man so anxious for power that it mattered little which side he 
was on, so long as he could get office. An occasion opened up a prospect 
to him by the Regent Moray being taken prisoner, and Edward III. and Baliol had 
overrun, for a time, the greater part of Scotland. The Earl of Athole, at 
this juncture, showed his versatile and selfish ambition by aspiring to the 
vacant office of regent. He accordingly informed Edward III. that he was 
willing to make his final submission on this condition, which was agreed to. 
Athole was immediately appointed governor in Scotland, but he did not long 
retain his coveted office. 

It happened that within Kildrummie (a strong castle in the north), the 
wife of Sir Andrew Moray had taken shelter. She was a sister of Robert 
the Bruce. Athole, eager to make a captive of so valuable a prize, attacked 
it. Moray hastily collected a small army, and flew to raise the seige. His 
troops encountered those of Athole in the forest of Kilblene, and, after a 
severe conflict, entirely dispersed them, Athole and five knights being slain 
in the wood. He died young in years but old in political intrigue and ambition. 
In Athole's army were many of the friends of the king, who were compelled 
to remain there owing to the presence of the English in such large numbers 
headed by their king. On the first opportunity a large section of them, headed 
by Viscount Robert the Menzies, struck out from him, and took refuge in the 
Castle of " Canmore " until they could join in with Moray, whose friends 
they were. The next day Visconut Robert Menzies arranged matters with Moray, 
and by his influence all the army renewed their allegiance to King David Bruce. 

a.d. 1341-1342.] VISCOUNT MENZIES. 75 

Boece says that Sir Robert Menzies and " the pepil thairof war sworn to King 
David's opinioun." Wynton gives the following description of the battle and 
the action of the Clan Menzies on that occasion : — 

; There by an oak died Earl Davie 
And sundry of his company : 
Sir Walter Comyn als was slayne ; 
And Sir Thomas Brown was [a prisoner] tane ; 
The same was beheaded hastily : 
It seemed they loved him not so greatly. 
Sir Robert ' Meyhneis ' [Menzies] to Canmore 
Went, where he wonnand was before : 
Thither he went, and in a Pele 
He savit him and his Menzies' weel. 
And then upon another day 
He treated, and came to their fay. 
There was but few slain in that fight, 
For the wood held them owt of sight : 
And they fled all so haistely, 
That away got the most of the party. 
'Twas fought on Saint Andrew's day, 
Or on its eve, as they would say." — Wynton's Chron. Scot., ii. 201. 

Almost all those who had taken part with the Earl of Athole were either 
slain in the conflict or at once put to death on the spot. After this event, Moray 
was made Regent of Scotland. Gradually castle after castle was retaken by the 
Scots, and almost all Scotland cleared of the English. The country now 
began to become more settled, and the giving and renewing of charters was 
again proceeded with; and it is at this time (about 1341) that we find a renewal 
of the charters for the Menzies' lands on the north side of Loch Tay, Disher, and 
also on the south side of Tqyer, embodying the parish of Kenmore, which 
reads as follows : — 

" Transumpt of a charter by Duncan, Earl of Fife (for the king), in favour of 
Sir Robert de Menzies, knight, the granters, kinsman of the land of Edirdamuky 
and of Morinche in Desawer, in the county of Perth. To be held for rendering 
the ' forinsec ' service of the king, used and wont, and a red rose or twelve silver 
pennies to the granter and his heirs, and giving three suits yearly at the granter's 
court of Desaweter. The Earl also grants and confirms to the said Sir Robert and 
his heirs the office of Tossach of the Earl's decree of Kyretollony, with all the 
privileges of that office." 

The charter bears no date, but it was probably granted about the year 1342. 
The witnesses are : — Alexander de Menzies, Alexander de Setoun, John de 

76 THE "RED &> WHITE" BOOK OF MENZIES. [a.d. 1343-1345. 

Cambroun of Ballnath, John de Bona Villa, and Roger de Mortuomare, knights. — 
Transumpt of 1439, Charter Room of Castle Menzies, No. 8. 

J. A. Robertson says : — " In the early part of King David II. 's reign, Duncan, 
Earl of Fife, for the king, in the year 1341 made a grant of a part of Disher and 
Toyer to the family of Menzies of that ilk, namely, the lands of Moreinsh and 
Edramuckie in Disher. This charter was confirmed by the crown in 1343. The 
family of Menzies had got a previous grant of another part of this lordship and 
the thanage of Cranach, in vicecomitat pros diet. The first of these charters is 
confirmed by King David II., A.D. 1343 ; the second by Robert, Steward of 
Scotland, and lord of Athole." — Nisbet, p. 244, vol. ii. 

Edramuckie and Moreinsh are lands stretching along the north and west end 
of Loch Tay, and in the latter are the lands of Rynachulig, Blarliaragan, 
Tomachrocher, now known as Moreinsh Crofts, Ballemore Macgrigor, Ardmoyle, 
and others. At Edramuckie the Menzies' had a castle at this time (the remains of 
which are still visible), to the south of the present farm building. About 250 yards 
from Loch Tay, close to the burn of Edramuckie, some of the trees planted by the 
Menzies', mostly sycamore and elm, — the remains of the avenues leading to the 
Castle, — still remain a testimonial of the love of forestry which has always been a 
characteristic of the race, and also showing the importance the place once had. 
Edramuckie means in Gaelic, " between two rising hills," as describing its situation, 
and the Gaelic name Moreinsh is big inch, or " big pasture fields." 

Viscount Robert Menzies the Chief had a third son, to whom he gave in his 
lifetime the barony of Enouch in Nithsdale, not far from Durrisdeer, where there 
was a strong castle constructed almost alike to Old Garth Castle, at this time 
also in the hands of Viscount Robert Menzies the Chief. The site of Enouch Castle 
is on the bank of the river Nith, which runs past it on the one side. The bank 
next the river is very steep and rocky, almost a vertical bank, and there has been 
cut in the solid rock a passage for the river, so as to form an oblong-shaped rocky 
island with the river running round it. Upon this rock was built Old Enouch 
Castle, which, from its position in these days, must have been almost impregnable. 
When the writer visited the spot in the summer of 1892 he was struck with the 
similarity of position and site to that of Old Garth Castle, so far from it in the 
north ; and although almost every stone has been carried away to build the 
neighbouring houses, the position is such that to an ordinary eye it can yet 
be seen that both places must have been a plan and model to each other — possibly 
the same Highland masons who built Garth also built Enouch. It is also likely 
that it was the same miners who cut the rocky bed round Enouch Castle that cut 
the way through the rocks round Garth Castle, so that the rivers might become a 
source of defence and security to those Menzies' who had to defend them in the 
hour of danger or invasion. In 1345 Viscount Robert the Menzies got a renewal 

a.d. 1346.] VISCOUNT MENZIES. 77 

of his charter of Enouch in favour of his third son, Sir Robert Menzies, which is 
recorded in Robertson's Index, page 53: — "Charter to Robert Menzies, knight, of 
the barony of Enachie, in the valleys of Niche, quhilke [which] Robert Menzies, 
his father, resigned in Robert, the Great Stewart, his hands for new infeftment, to 
be given by King David II." It was at this time that King David was 
preparing to invade England ; and, just before taking the field, he confirmed the 
son of the chief in his possession of Enouch, the record of which is also given by 
Robertson, thus : — " To Robert Menzies, of the barony of Enach, in Niddisdale 
(Nithsdale), in the vicom de Dumfreis," a charter confirmed " by King David the 
Second," dated 1346. Viscount Robert himself apparently at this time got a renewed 
confirmation of his possessions of Weem, Aberfeldy, &c, as per No. 9 from Castle 
Menzies' charters : — " Charter by Robert, Steward of Scotland and Lord of Athole, 
confirming the grant made by Alexander de Meygners to Sir Robert de Meygners, 
his son, of the Weme and Aberfeally-beg in Athole" (No. 5 supra). — No date, but 
probably granted about 1346. The witnesses are: Duncan, Earl of Fyff; John 
Ranulphi, Earl of Moray ; Patrick de Dunbarre, Earl of March ; Maurice de 
Moray ; Robert de Erskyne, Malcolm Flemyng, Earl of Wigton ; Robert de 
Erskyne, Hugh de Elytoun — knights. 

In 1346, Edward III. being occupied in his French wars, David II., at the 
instigation of the French king, mustered a large army at Perth, consisting of the 
flower of the Highland clans, such as Menzies, MacDonald, Stewart, Robertson, 
MacGregor, Cameron, and others, with the barons of all the leading families of 
Scotland. From Perth he advanced upon the Borders, where he stormed and 
captured the fortress of Liddel, then marched south-east through Northumberland 
and towards Durham, the march of his army being marked by devastation. He 
was, however, surprised and defeated at the battle of Neville's Cross, near Durham, 
on the 7th October 1 346, and taken prisoner after a desperate personal encounter, 
where, as the English historian says, " He had two spears sticking (hanging) in his 
body, his leg desperately wounded, and his sword beaten out of his hand." Fiercely 
struggling without arms, he was at last overpowered by the English, made a 
prisoner, and marched to London and imprisoned in the Tower. Many Scottish 
chiefs and knights fell in this battle, among whom was Viscount Robert the Menzies, 
who must have been killed, as after this date his name does not again appear. His 
widow, however, is mentioned, where she conveys the lands of Pitferrane, near the 
town of Dunfermline, to the Monastery of Dunfermline, probably for the repose 
of the soul of the deceased warrior-chief who had, with his father, been the 
compatriots of the great Bruce. Nisbet says : " Lady Menzies in her time of 
widowity, with consent of Sir John Menzies, her son and heir, gave to the 
Monastery of Dunfermline Totani terrain meant de Pikfuram (Pitferran) me jure 
heriditaris contingentem ; and which charter was afterwards confirmed by King 

78 THE "RED fir- WHITE" BOOK OF MENZIES. [a.d. 1346. 

David II., A.D. 1360. Lady Menzies had before this, likewise in the time of her 
vvidowity, given to her consanguineous Richard Evioth, the lands of Busey in the 
shire of Perth, which gift was confirmed by King David II. in the 23rd year of his 
reign, A.D. 1352." — Nisbet, p. 244, vol. ii. 

Thus fell Sir Robert the Menzies, Earl, or Viscount, of Edinburgh, fighting by 
the side of David II., the son of his fellow companion-in-arms, the great Bruce, in 
the service of whom he had distinguished himself at Bannockburn and in several 
of the invasions of England. He suffered the confiscation of his lands in 
Edinburghshire by the orders of Edward III. for his strenuous support of the 
house of his old leader and king ; as also did his brother, Sir Alexander of 
Menzies, and daughter (or sister), Annabella of Menzies. He was born about 
1 267 and died 1 346, and left three sons and one daughter, Annabella : — 

(ist.) Sir John the Menzies, who became chief and succeeded to the estates of 

(2nd.) Sir Alexander of Menzies, who, by his marriage, about 1370, to Janet 
— who was the only child and heiress of Robert Stewart, Earl of Athole — got 
lands in the shire of Aberdeen. In the charter granted by his grandfather Sir 
Alexander the Menzies to his father Viscount Robert the Menzies, he is called his 
grandchild, and is 'designated Alexander Menzies of Fortingall. From this son of 
Sir Robert, Nisbet considers that the family of Pitfodels (probably by a second son) 
and others of the name in the country descend. He likewise got the whole lands 
of Strathtummel with his wife, and from the importance of the property conveyed 
with his own, he received a charter confirming him in his possessions from King 
David II. These were the lands of Lassintullich, Tullichcroskie (now Crosmount), 
Kynachan, Garth, Bufrax, and a third part of the town of Lynnoch. Of this 
marriage there were two sons, Sir Alexander — who succeeded to the Garth estates — 
and Robert, said to be the ancestor of the Aberdeen branch of Clan Menzies. 

(3rd.) Sir Robert of Menzies, who got in his father's lifetime the lands and 
barony of Enouch, in Dumfriesshire, about five miles from Durrisdeer, which his 
uncle, Sir Alexander Menzies, held at that time, both marching with each other. 
In this barony stood the ancient stronghold of the Menzies', Castle Enouch. 

(ist.) Annabella Menzies — who received the lands and barony of Kinniel, with 
Barrowstouness in Linlithgowshire — married Sir David Hamilton, by which marriage 
these old Menzies lands descended to the present Dukes of Hamilton. They had 
three sons — ist, Sir David, ancestor of the Duke; 2nd, Walter, from whom the 
Hamiltons of Grange and Cambuskeith in Ayrshire descend ; 3d, Alan, from whom 
are the Hamiltons of Larbert in Linlithgowshire. — Scottish Nation, p. 416, vol. ii. 

Cbief Sir 3obn tbe flDe^gners, Iknicjbt, 
43ro from Iktncj fl>a\mu8, ano 8tb Baron of flDcn3ics, 


A.D. I323-I4IO. 

/^ta^IR JOHN THE MENZIES succeeded his father, Viscount Robert the 
Vt ^ Menzies, in the whole lands and estates before mentioned, viz. : — Weem, 
^^f/ Aberfeldy, Dull, Bolfracks, Loch Tay or Disher and Toyer, in Athole, 
including the whole surrounding country of Loch Tay, Glendochart, and 
Glenlochy in Breadalbane ; Glenlyon, with the lands of Fernachie and Gowlantine 
in the Abthanage of Dull ; also many other places, such as the lands of Finlarig, 
Moreinsh, Edramucky, Glenquich, and others ; with those of his mother Margaret 
Oynt or Evioth of Busey, in Perthshire, whose lands lay in Glenesk, a valley in the 
northern part of the Grampian district of Forfarshire, watered by the North Esk 
and its mountain tributaries. It is now called in its main body Glenmark, and in 
its offshoots Glen Enouch, which would still seem to retain in name at least 
a relic of its ancient Menzies owners, who at this time also held Enouch in 
Dumfriesshire. The other offshoots are Gleneffock and Glentinmount. Sir John 
also got the lands of Glen Bervie in Kincardineshire, which now contain the 
village of Drumtithie. The parish of Glenbervie is bounded by Strachan, Durris, 
Fetteresso, Donnottar, Kinneff, Arbuthnot, and Fordoun. Its length southward is 
six-and-a-half miles, and five miles broad. The surface is hilly and uneven, and 
descends eastward and southward from the Grampian mountains. The soil in 
the upper part is heavy, and in the lower a light dry loam, abundantly fertile. 
The western part stands high, and is bleak and little cultivated ; the eastern 
parts, although high and exposed, are well cultivated, as is also the northern 
quarter along a low ridge of the Grampian mountains. The remainder of the 
district is principally heath, copse, and pasture land, forming the very secluded 
part of Glenbervie. Bervie Water comes down from the braes of Fordoun, and 
runs about four-and-a-half miles south-east along the southern boundary of 
Glenbervie. The Carron Water rises in the braes in the west, and flows 

80 THE "RED 6- WHITE" BOOK OF MENZIES. [a.d. 1371. 

eastward through the interior. Likewise he inherited the lands of Ceres in 
Fifeshire, and the lands of Vogry in Edinburghshire, with other places. 

Sir John the Menzies, before he succeeded to the chiefship of Clan Menzies, 
saw considerable military service under his father, in the wars with Edward III., 
against the English. In all these troubles he had given strenuous support to 
Robert the High Steward, his cousin, against the enemies of Scotland. At that 
time Scotland was divided into two parties — those who supported the policy of 
King David II., which was one of truckling to Edward III. ; the other party 
was that of Robert the High Steward, consisting of a body of patriots, who 
followed in the footsteps of their fathers and in the cause of their country. Of 
this latter party was Sir John the Menzies. His relationship to Robert the 
High Steward and support of him debarred him from appearing in connection 
with any of the events connected with the affairs of David II. — this being the 
reason why his name is not attached to any of the charters, &c, granted by that 
king. On the death of David II. at Edinburgh Castle, on the 22nd February 
1 37 1, Robert the High Steward succeeded as King of Scotland, and was 
crowned at Scone, on the 27th March 1371, ascending the throne of Scotland 
as King Robert II., the first of the royal house of Stewart. This was celebrated 
with great pomp and splendour. Sir John the Menzies, as one of the relations of 
the king, was present at the coronation, and held a near place to the throne in that 
vast assembly of nobles, barons, and others — his son Sir Robert of Menzies being 
the shield-bearer of the king. This post of honour he held from blood-relationship, 
giving both Sir John the Menzies and Sir Robert of Menzies such a standing in 
that august company that few were their superiors. This great event is recorded 
in the Acts of the Parliament of the time, and to which the names of the magnates 
and nobles of Scotland are attached, among whom is the name of Sir John the 
Menzies. The following is the Act of Parliament recording the coronation of Sir 
Robert Stewart as King of Scotland, afterwards Robert II. : — 

" The Coronatiofi of Robert II. at Scone, 27 th March 1371. 
" Celebrating this the crowning and anointing with princely and religious 
ceremonial the king and flower of all men, being proclaimed the future king, and 
seated in the seat-royal, over the people, at Scone, being with fame crowned there 
in person, before all the prelates, earls, the barons and nobles as the under-written." 
Here follows a list of the names of the nobles present, among whom is the name of 
John the Menzies, Johnes de Megyners, &c. &c. — Acts Par., Scot., p. 181, vol. i. 

Sir John the Menzies got for his son, Sir Robert, a charter from King Robert 
II. at Perth, 8th September 1376, of the lands and barony of Enouch, in the 
valley of the Nith. He seems to have stood well in the favour of the king, 
who calls his late father his faithful Sir Robert the Menzies. He also may 

a.d. 1376-1380.] THE HERO OF THE BATTLE OF LIEGE. 81 

have had in view the maintaining of a branch of the clan who had stood so 
true to him, near the English border, as a barrier against the Sasannach. We 
append an extract (translation) of this document : — 

" 1376. Robert, by the grace of God, King of Scotland : Be it knowen unto 
all men, I for service, interest, and three wonted salutes from my relation, and for 
love to my faithfull Sir Robert the Meingeis and John of Meingeis, his son, gives full 
possession of the whole barony of Enoch, with castle, in the valley of the Nith ; 
which same barony is held by said John, and to such of this John Menzies' 
noble surname discharged, and renewed possession as held by the same Robert 
Menzies heritably to males of his body of him legitimate begotten or procreated, 
with possession to his ; failing Sir John, then heritably to his legitimately 
whatsomever, of the surname and arms, descend the possessions heritably 
succeeding, free and full assigned rental to Sir Robert and heirs of his aforesaid ; 
and he failing Sir John, then heirs of his said surname and arms, succeeding 
to the said barony thus. Recording carefully to the three courts at the 
capital of the shire of Dumfries, to otherwise possess the said barony. Sealed 
and confirmed, &c, before witnesses, at Perth, 8th day of September 1376." — 
Reg. Gt. Seal, p. 133 (30). 

The foregoing charter went to establish the branch of Menzies' in the 
southern Highlands of Scotland, and found the Enouch cadets, who got a grant 
of separate armorial bearings, which are recorded about this date in the 
Lion Court register. Sir Robert Menzies received this estate, being the eldest 
son, to maintain him until he should succeed to his full possessions. This 
became the rule for a considerable period with the chiefs of Menzies to give 
their eldest son the estates of Enouch during their lifetime. 

Sir John Menzies, on the 14th of June 1380, got a renewed grant from Robert 
II. of his late father's lands of Vogrie, in the shire of Edinburgh, by which his 
Majesty granted a discharge of the castle ward dues, payable out of those 
lands, of the annual value of 8s. This document is still in the public archives, 
a translation of which runs thus : — 

" 14th June 1380, at Perth. Robert, by the grace of God, King of Scotland : 
Openly approves with honour, &c, and his full knowledge, gives, concedes, and 
by this present charter, confirms to his beloved and faithfull Sir John Meygneis, 
discharges the annual payment of 8s. as from the dues of the castle ward of 
the lands of ' Vogry,' in the shire of Edinburgh, held by the same Sir John 
Menzies, heritably descending to male heirs in full and heritage free, quietly, 
and peacefully conceded to John Menzies the said lands of ' Vogry,' with 
dues of former part thus discharged to John and heirs of himself; and third 
part and so much as is in the shire of Edinburgh, in three parts, at the 
capital, each year for the said holdings he holds. The which is confirmed 

82 THE "RED & WHITE" BOOK OF MENZIES. [a.d. i 380-1 391. 

by present charter under the great seal. " — Regtti Sigilli Regm. Scot., 
p. 144. 

After the accession of Robert II. the country was greatly disturbed by 
almost continual war with England. Tradition says that the Menzies', who 
had been brought down from the Highlands of Perthshire to the mountainous parts 
of Dumfries, Edinburgh, and Lanark shires, played a most important part in 
these struggles and conflicts. They almost invariably joined themselves hand 
in hand with the Douglases in the border warfare. The Menzies' are said 
to have been with Douglas in the invasion of England in 1388 and at Otterburn. 
The last of these conflicts was signalized by one of the most stirring events 
of that eventful period. This was the great combat between the Percy and 
the Douglas at Otterburn, on the 21st July 1388. Douglas, after performing 
many astonishing achievements, encountered and vanquished Percy in single 
combat, and wrested from him his lance in presence of both armies. Enraged 
at this affront, Percy raised a still more powerful army, and, following up 
the Scottish army, encountered them at Otterburn, where the Menzies' and 
other Scots, not half their numbers, fought with the most determined bravery, 
and although long and doubtful, the valour of the Scots succeeded. Percy 
and his brother were taken prisoners, the English gave way, and the Scots 
gained a great victory, but with the loss of their brave leader, Douglas, who 
fell fighting. The English lost about 3000 men-at-arms and the whole 
chivalry of Northumberland and Durham. Scarce two years after this 
King Robert II. died in April 1390, and his son, Robert III., was crowned 
in August of 1390. 

The results of these wars and troubles led Sir John the Menzies into 
a considerable amount of outlay to equip Clan Menzies as required by the 
king, and obliged him to put his lands and barony of Glenbervie in ward, of 
which there are several entries recorded in the Chamberlain Rolls. Of these 
we give a translation, as follows : — 

" Sir John the Meigners, his land in the barony of Glenbervie in ward, 
and the £4, is. for outlays, carefully reckoned for the time. Such accounts 
and no payment of the account of 20 lib. for relief of the lands of ' Haucarton,' 
which Walter of ' Tullach,' the deputy chamberlain, has intromitted, and 
these are thus burdened. And repayment of the 20s. debit on the lands 
of the said John Mengners of Glenbervie, which lands are in ward until discharged 
by payment of the same reason as said deputy has for the burden. 1391." — 
Exch. Rolls, Scot., p. 285, vol. iii. 

This record is followed by another in the same year, wherein Sir John 
the Menzies is recorded as making a payment to account — a translation 
of which runs thus : — 

a.d. 1391-1405.] THE HERO OF THE BATTLE OF LIEGE. 83 

" 1 39 1. Of the same burden to the £7, 13s. 3d. in partial payment, 20 lib. 
deducted for relieving the lands of ' Haukarton ' and the rest of the burdens 
are in rear account, and of 20s. received from the lands of same from said 
John Meigners in the barony of ' Glenbervy,' which are in ward of the king, in 
terms of his reckoning." — Exch. Rolls, p. 274, vol. iii. 

Sir John the Menzies also inherited the lands of Seres in Fifeshire, which 
his father held before him, and from them he sometimes got the title of 
Sir John Menzies of Seres. There still remains a relic of the old Menzies' lairds 
and possessors of these lands. To the north of Seres, about five miles, is the 
lands of " Moonzie," doubtless named after these old Menzies', who were the 
barons of large tracts of land round about that neighbourhood. 

About the end of 1404 a number of Scottish gentlemen and their followers, 
while sailing in French waters, excited the suspicion of the English garrison at 
Calais, who seized them and cast them into prison. News of this having been 
brought to King Robert III., no time was lost in arranging an embassy to Calais. 
It was appointed by the king that Sir John the Menzies should go as his 
ambassador to France, accompanied by eight knights and a body of his clansmen. 
He was also to have a Bard in his retinue. While preparations were being made, 
an application was made to the King of England (Henry IV.), for a safe conduct 
through England to France, and we find it in the English records, dated 21st 
September 1405, which reads : — 

"1405, Sept. 21 — Henry IV. October 1405. John Meners, &c, goes to 
Calais to ransom some Scots prisoners there. Treat for letters of safe conduct till 
Pentecost next, for John Menzer of Scotland, with eight men, 'gentilx,' and others, 
to pass through England by Dover to Calais, to pay the ransom of certain 
Scotsmen lately taken at sea by the garrison of Calais." — Worcester, Cal. Docs, re 
Scot., p. 149, vol. iv. 

The safe conduct was granted, and dated the 6th October 1405, and this fact 
was put upon record by the Rhymer in his Fcedera as follows : — 

"6th October 1405. Safe Conduct for John Menzer of Scotland to Calais, to 
ransom certain Scots." — Rhymer's Fcedera, p. 554, vol. ii. The Duke of Albany, 
brother of Robert III., and the first Scottish duke, had all the financial matters to 
arrange with Sir John the Menzies for the equipment of his clansmen, followers, 
and retinue, for their journey through England to France, that the honour for 
knightly renown might be maintained by Scotland, as represented by Sir John the 
Menzies and his followers. Part of these arrangements are still preserved in the 
national records, and show the following sums of money paid to Sir John : — 
"Payment to John Meigners, A.D. 1405. — And the Lord Duke of Albanie, 
Chamberlane, thus openly, by letters, showes the ammount reckoned and given to 
Johannis Meigners and Thome senescalli ; also himself Lord Duke gave openly 

G 2 

84 THE "RED &> WHITE" BOOK OF MENZIES. [a.d. 1405-1407. 

as calculated £6g, is. 13d., the which is paid." — Ex. Rolls, Scot, p. 622, 
vol. iii. 

Following the payment of this money to defray the expenses of the embassy 
— to Chief Sir John the Menzies — we have the safe conduct, as granted by 
Henry IV., the translation of which is somewhat as follows : — 

" Safe conduct for JOHANNE MENZERS and others going to Calais for the 
redemption in that place of imprisoned Scotsmen, Wjgom, 6th Oct. 1405. The 
king by these letters gives open and free passage up to the feast of Pentiecoast 
next to execute the undertaking, this safe and secure conduct, given to protect 
and defend through the journey, to Joliem Menzer of Scotia, and to eight nobles, 
his knights, companions and clansmen, and other additional followers, Scotsmen, 
by authority of the King of England, with passage and lodging given to Dover, 
and from that place by sea to the king at Calais, with knights in RED and WHITE 
(tartan) mountings, and a BARD, with their baggage, to be treated honourably by 
all men those of this good embassy ; and conclude a treaty with those gentlemen 
of Scotland, and officers upon the sea, to see the king's soldiers at Calais and have 
the prisoners freed and released, and after, by the authority of the king's command, 
safe and secure, without further loss or annoyance, all whatever wished on the way 
as a company for a good journey obtainable and necessary for the passage 
returning to Scotland — freely thus always to lodge themselves by the way in the 
castles and fortresses and villages of the king's establishment — herewith is a decree 
and instrument of the king of safe conduct to captains and others under his 
charge on the journey, as soon as informed not to detain unnecessarily, the king 
or representative as judge, with additional power, the king commands that 
judgment, in whatever connection or transgression, be adjusted in a proper manner." 
— P. Bill, de Privato Sigillo, and Exch. Rolls, p. 1 76, vol. ii. 

Sir John the Menzies appears to have discharged the responsibility of this 
mission to the entire satisfaction of his king and country, and received their 
commendation for arranging such a difficult business without loss of Scottish 
prestige, having maintained " peace with honour." On the return of Sir John in 
1407, we find him receiving a payment of money to discharge the fees of the 
costumiers from the Duke of Albany, who had been elected to the high office of 
Lord High Chamberlain and Regent of Scotland on the death of Robert III., 
which took place during the absence of Sir John in France, on the 14th April 1406. 
The duke's name appears in this record : — 

. . " 1407. Payment to John of Meigneis, discharge fee of custumars, and for 
discharge of the same, the mandate of Lord Duke of Albany by Jolianni the 
Meigneis, in part payment 20 merks ; thus clearly, by letters of the said Lord Duke 
and the precepts of Lady Agnete of Tulach, settled and regiven as expended by 
the said fohannis above reckoned at £7, 13s. 6d., of which is accounted for with 

The Ancient "Red and White" Menzies Tartan, as Worn in the 15TH Century 

a.d. 1407-140S.] THE HERO OF THE BATTLE OF LIEGE. 85 

him, and for discharge of the same the mandate of said Lord Duke, the Chamber- 
lain of Scotland." — Ex. Rolls, Scot., p, 49, vol. iv. 

The fame which Sir John the Menzies had gained in his successful expedition 
to Calais, where he obtained freedom for the Scottish subjects imprisoned there, 
brought him into great favour at court. When his cousin, Alexander Stewart, 
the Earl of Mar, planned his celebrated knight-errant visit to France and Belgium, 
he at once applied to Sir John the Menzies to be one of his knights ; and the next 
we hear of Sir John the Menzies is that he accompanied the Earl of Mar to France, 
when, after the death of the Countess of Mar, Isabel, who died 10th Feb. 1408, 
a new chapter in the Earl's life began — " The Earle of Mar past into France with 
a nobel company — well arrayit and daintily — knights, squires, and gentlemen 
full sixty, one of whom was Sir John the Menzies, at the head of a few gentlemen 
of Clan Menzies. In Paris he held royal state at the sign of the Tynnyti Plate. 
For twelve weeks he kept open house and table. He was commendit of all 
nations for wit, virtue, and largess." The King of France gave him a post of 
honour at his court to wait upon him at table. The earl remained but a short 
time in France, and taking leave of the French king, the Duke of Burgon 
(Burgundy) — who " took him in special acquaintance" — and the French lords, he 
set out on his return home. While they waited at Bruges for favourable weather, 
the Scottish earl, Sir John the Menzies, and the other knights, were suddenly 
applied to by the Duke of Holland to help his brother, John of Bavaria, the secular 
bishop-elect of Liege, whose subjects had rebelled against his rule, and had 
themselves chosen another, a son of Sir Henry Horn. They were prepared to offer 
a stout resistance. He undertook the service, although he had with him but 
twenty-eight spears and four knights. In the siege and conflicts that ensued, the 
van was assigned by the Dukes of Holland and Burgundy to the Earl of Mar and 
Sir John the Menzies — the earl had five banners besides his own. He made 
several knights on the eve of the attack, one of whom was Alexander Keith, and 
another was his banneoure or standard-bearer, Sir John the Menzies. The battle 
was a most bloody one, 30,000 men being slain. The worthless bishop was put in 
possession of his See, which he held until deposed by the Council of Constance. — 
Inverurie and Edm. of Mar, p. 87. 

After the battle the Earl of Mar returned home under a safe conduct from 
Henry IV. of England, dated December 29th, 1408. Winton gives a graphic 
description of the Earl of Mar, Sir John the Menzies, and those with them in their 
travels and adventures as knights-errant to France, where they seem to have 
gratified their taste for adventures in foreign war, dividing their time between real 
fighting and the recreations of tilts and tournaments. The following is a translation 
as near as possible of Winton's old poetic chronicle, commencing on the eve of 
the battle where Chief Sir John the Menzies was knighted :— 



[a.d. 1408. 

" Alexander of Keith a knight made he, 
And Alexander the Graeme, was made the 

As Andrew Stewart his brother fair ; 
And knighted Sir John the Menzies his 

The Laird o' Naughton and Sir William 
The Hay, a knight then of great fame. 
He made Sir Gilbert the Hay a knight 

All six knights stout and brave 
With four knights before them made. 
Of the Scottish nation ten knights he had, 
Manful, hardy, stout and strong, 
In all the whole force of that fight ; 
And all his esquires and youmen 
Proved themselves stout and manful men. 
The Officers of Leiges with all their 

Was but scarce three spear-lengths 
From the army of the Earl of Mar, 
All arrayed and armed for war. 
He saw before he gave command 
Two warriors, and in their hands 
They held pole-axes as if they meant to do 
Some brave deed of war before the battle 

Just like to warrior lords of honour, 
As they appeared by their armour. 
With this up sprang the Earl of Mar 
From where he was and to the fight 
He with Menzies his Bannerer, who by his 

Set his banner so that it might abide. 

To Sir Johnie Menzies of Seres, said he 

Come with me Johnie ' Menzies ' against 

yon two men ! 
Or by my lave alone I'll be, 
Come on, come on, now, Johnie Menzies 

with me! 
Thus should a Prince in battle essay, 
Come on, follow me forward I say ! 
And baith father and son, slain were they. 
The father was Sir Henry Horn ; 
The father by the Earl of Mar was slain, 
The son after was slain by Johnie Menzies 

of Seres. 
Thirty thousand slain there were 
When this field and battle was won. 
The Duke of Burgundy upon the scene 

came ; 
And as he with the Earl then met, 
With blyth cheer there he claspet him 
In his arms so thankfully, 
That had held his ward so worthely. 
The Earl called Alexander the Lyal 
Of Angus, a great gentleman. 
' Go to my Banner-bearer and bid that he 
My banner bring on high to me.' 
Sir John the Menzies answer made, 
' Here he bid me stand the banner. 
So have I stood it, and here yet still, 
Now come he to it if he will,' &c. &c. 
This is the history of that jornie, 
As they that were there told me. 
The Earl of Mar by his great renown 
Has honoured all his nation," &c. &c. 

On the return of Chief Sir John the Menzies and the Earl of Mar to Scotland 
their actions were looked upon by their countrymen as reflecting great honour and 
glory on the Scottish arms, and although the band of Scottish knights was small, yet 
they had the place of danger and of honour assigned to them at the battle of Liege ; 
and Sir John Menzies was only excelled in acts of bravery, dash, and daring, by 
the Earl of Mar himself, who killed Sir Henry Horn at the outset, and immediately 
after Sir Henry Horn's son was cut down by Sir John the Menzies. "This 
incident of the campaign redounds to the credit of Sir John as a martial hero." — 
H. Miller. The incident of the standard shows that Sir John Menzies resented 
the pompous command from Mar to bring his standard, which he had fixed in a 

a.d. 140S-1410.] THE HERO OF THE BATTLE OF LIEGE. 87 

stated spot before the battle began, and refused to comply unless Mar came 
himself, he being the only one from whom he would take the order. 

The grandmother of Sir John the Menzies — Egidie Stewart, the aunt of King 
Robert II. — had as a portion the lands of Tuloch, and these were inherited by him, 
for which he had to pay certain dues which had accumulated from her time, the 
payment of which, in 1409, being thus recorded : — 

" 1409. And for discharge of the same mandate of Lord Sir Jolianni the 
Meigners in complete payment of 20 merks for the years before, reckoned by 
precept, thus discharged by letters of his and the mandate of Lady Agnetis of 
Tulach, thus received back from the said Joliminis as before reckoned £6, 12s. 2d., 
the which accounted for with said Lord Knight and Lady Egidie, daughter of the 
late lord the king's (father), now deceased ; again conceded to Lord (John the 
Menzies) clearly by letters of his showen before the Lord Earl of Athole, in part 
expended for the said Lady Egidie, the receipts as declared above accounted 
£6, 12s. 4d., the which was reckoned for with him." — Excli. Rolls, p. 83, vol. iv. 

The above implies that Sir John Menzies held the lands of " Tuloch " or 
" Tullich," including Loch Tullich, which would then form the north-west boundary 
of the Menzies' country, connected as it is with Glen Dochart and Glenurchy on the 
north, both of which lead to Loch Lyndoch and Loch Rannoch, all in his lordship of 
Menzies, or in the possession of other branches of the Clan Menzies. 

Chief Sir John the Menzies was probably born about 1323, and died about 
1410. He appears to have left three sons : — 

(1st.) Sir Robert the Menzies, his successor as chief. 

(2nd.) Sir Thomas Menzies, who got a charter by David II. for the lands of 
West and North Cultnachy, Burliche, and Ballingall Easter. Teinnincency, 
extending to a 40 merk land, pays 6s. 8d. " stg. in Kinross-shire." On the lands 
of " Burliche," now called Burleigh, which are about one-and-a-half miles north of 
the town of Kinross, are the remains of an old castle, evidently built by its 
old Menzies' lairds ; a great part of the exterior walls remain entire ; the 
out-buildings of a farm have been incorporated with it ; it seems to have been 
originally a square, surrounded by a wall and a ditch. The western side of this 
square consists of two towers, and an intervening curtain and gateway remain. 
The tower on the north-west angle is a square building ; that on the south-west is 
circular in form. The castle, like most other old castles of the Menzies', was at one 
period surrounded with fine old trees, some of which still linger in the vicinity of 
the ruins. — Robertson's Index of Charters. 

(3rd.) Sir William Menzies, the brother of Sir Robert Menzies, had in his time 
the lands and forest of Alyth, granted in the early part of his life by King David 
II. Robertson mentions in his list of charters that Sir William Menzies had 
granted to him the keeping of the forest of Alyth. The entry is as follows : — " To 

88 THE "RED & WHITE" BOOK OF MENZIES. [a.d. 1410. 

Sir William Menzies, the keeping of the Forest of Alyth in the Vicecom de 
Kincardine, granted by David II." about 1370. Alyth is a parish on the borders 
of Kincardineshire, but principally in Perthshire. Its length is about fifteen miles 
north to south, and its breadth one to six miles. The highest hill is the Alyth, 
about 700 feet high, and north-west of the town of Alyth is the forest of Alyth, a 
large tract of heathy ground of more than 6000 acres, which is skirted on the west 
by arable grounds, and affords pasture for sheep and black cattle. It abounds in 
game, especially moorfowl, and is much frequented in the shooting season. The 
largest stream in the parish is the Alyth ; it rises in the moss of the forest, and 
runs to the Isla at Inverqueich. The town of Alyth stands on the Alyth burn, 
about two miles above its confluence with the Isla. 


Sir RICHARD MENZIES, contemporary with Sir John, had a grant of the annual 
forth of Newbie in Peeblesshire by King David II. Newby, now Newbigging, 
stands on the Tweed about 10 miles south of Biggar, and about a mile south of 
Newbigging is the village of Minzion, and the stream called Minzion Water, 
which runs down a narrow glen with high hills on each side called Glen Minzion, 
and empties itself into the Tweed. Doubtless the locality retains the name 
" Minzion " from its old Menzies' owners, being a corruption of Menzies. — 
Robertson's Index of Charters. 

Sir Alexander (?) Menzies of Fortingall, also contemporary, held the 
Baronies of Fortingall, Ouyn, and Garrioch, for these charters were renewed to him 
by King David II. "Ouyn," now Oyne, is a town and a parish in the centre of 
Aberdeenshire. It is nearly 6 miles long and about 3^ broad, and its area is 
about 17 square miles. The Bennochie mountain has about three-fourths of its 
whole mass in Oyne, and the predominant rock is granite. There is a considerable 
amount of good natural pasture, but the greater part is under tillage. There is an 
ancient baronial residence at Westhall — probably the ancient dwelling-place of 
the Menzies'. " Garrioch," now Garioch, is a district of which Oyne is one of 1 5 
parishes which are within its limits. It contains 1 50 square miles, and, on account 
of its fertility, used to be called the granary of Aberdeenshire. Its surface is 
mountainous and cold, and as a district gives name to the presbytery holding its 
seat at Chapel-of-Garioch. He was brother of Chief Sir John. — Robertson's 
Index of Charters. 

Sir Alexander Menzies of Glendochart also held the lands of Redhall, 
Swanston, Philmoorie, Dreghorn, Woodhall, and Durrisdeer. Redhall we have 

A.D. 1410.] 



already described : Swanston is also in the same parish of Colinton. It is a 
village standing on the skirts of the Pentland hills, 5 miles S.-S.- W. of Edinburgh. 
Dreghorn is also in the parish of Colinton, lying among the roots of the Pentland 
range, about a mile S.-E. of the village of Colinton ; the scenery around it is 
very beautiful. The present Dreghorn Castle probably stands upon the site of 
old Dreghorn Castle, built by the Menzies', standing as it would, embosomed 
among trees, about 490 feet above sea-level. Woodhall village stands about a 
mile S.-W. from Colinton. Several places take their name from it in the 
surrounding country, such as Woodhall Mill, Woodville, and Woodhead. These, 
with the others, made Sir Alexander Menzies owner of the whole of the present 
parish of Colinton. — Robertson's Index of Charters. 

The Glendochart barony and estates of Chieftain Alexander Menzies are now 
represented by the parishes of that name, which stretch to Glenorchy, and include, 
with other places, Strathfillan, which is a continuation of Glendochart. In his time 
the Church of St Fillan, from which the strath takes its name, was a kirk of 
considerable note, and famous for the cures wrought by its miracle-working bell, 
known as the " Bell of St Fillan." The cure of insanity and other diseases were 
publicly wrought with it until the Reformation, after which it was used super- 
stitiously in secret. It ultimately lay on a grave-stone in the old church-yard, but 
was stolen by an Englishman to England. It was again returned to Scotland in 
1869, and deposited in the Museum of the Scottish Society of Antiquaries, 




(Tbief Sir IRobert tbe "flfteinanp," tbe 44tb front fll>a\mu5, 
ano tbe 7tb Baron of flDen3ies. 

The Beloved Shield-bearer of King Robert II. 

A.D. 13S3-I4II. 

SIR ROBERT THE MENZIES, Knight, during the lifetime of his 
father, the great Sir John the Menzies — renowned for his deeds of 
bravery in company with the Earl of Mar at the great battle and siege 
of Liege — received from Sir John charters for the barony of Enach, 
with the castle of Enach in the valley of the Nith, in the shire of Dumfries, &c, 
which were confirmed by King Robert II., dated at Perth, 8th September 1376. 
It is this Sir Robert of whom King Robert spoke as being his " beloved shield- 
bearer, Robert Meigners." He also got in his father's lifetime the barony of 
Vogrie, in the shire of Edinburgh ; the half of the barony of Culter, in the shire 
of Lanark ; and the land of Ceres, in the shire of Fife. Proceeding upon his 
father's resignation, and as he was still alive, his liferent was reserved. Robertson 
likewise mentions that a charter was granted " to Robert de Meigners of the 
barony of Enach within the valley of the Neith, resigned by John Meygners, his 
father, and given by Robert II. — Nisbet, p. 244, vol. ii. ; Robertson's Index of 

Sir Robert Menzies having the grant of the barony of Enouch (formerly 
called the barony of Durrisdeer) given him, also got the right to a separate coat of 
arms granted him about 1370, under the title of Menzies of Enouch — the shield 
or escutcheon being the same as the Chief Menzies of Menzies ; but instead of 
the colours being red and white, his escutcheon was " black and white," but 
otherwise the same, being afterwards used by the eldest sons of the chief as long 
as they were junior chiefs, but on becoming chief they assumed the original 
escutcheon as head of the clan — red and white. It is from this that the BLACK and 
WHITE Menzies tartan is taken, said to have been worn by the Menzies' of Enouch. 
Sir Robert's grant of the barony of Enach and the lands thereof was about ten 
years before the battle of Otterburn. We give a copy of it as in the Charter Room 
of Castle Menzies : — 

The Black and White Menzies Tartan or Mourning Tartan. 


"1376. No. 12. Transumpt of a charter granted by King Robert the 
Second to Robert de Menzeis, son of John de Menzeis, of the whole barony of 
Enach in Nithsdale, which had been resigned by the said John into the hands of 
the king, dated at Perth, 8th September, 6th year of the king's reign [1376]. The 
witnesses are : William, Bishop of St Andrews ; John, the king's eldest son, 
afterwards Robert III., Earl of Carrick and Steward of Scotland ; Robert, Earl 
of Fife and Menteith, the king's son, afterwards Duke of Albany ; William, Earl 
of Douglas ; John de Carrick, Chancellor ; James de Lindissay, the king's nephew ; 
and Alexander de Lindsay — Knights." — Transumpt of 1439. 

It will be observed from the foregoing that although Sir Robert Menzies had 
not got as yet the chiefship, he was, however, high in the favour of his kinsman 
King Robert II. Sir Robert Menzies also seems to have been one of the young 
knights attached to the king's person, as he designates him " his beloved shield- 
bearer," as will be seen from the following charter, A.D. 1385 : — 

" Charter by King Robert the Second to his BELOVED SHIELD-BEARER, 
ROBERT MEIGNERS, of the lands of Cultir, in the shire of Lanark, which had been 
resigned into the king's hands by John Menzeis, the grantee's father. The 
witnesses are the same as in No. 11., dated at Cluny, 13th January, 15th year 
of the king's reign." — 1385; also in Transumpt of 1439, Castle Menzies 
Charter's, No. 13. 

This Sir Robert Menzies obtained an arrangement by charter that, in the 
event of the death of his issue, the lands of Enouch would revert to his father, 
hence the following : — 

"1387. Transumpt of a charter by King Robert the Second to Robert 

Menzeis speciall armigero nostro, whom failing, to John Menzeis of the 

whole lands of the barony of Wogre, in the shire of Edinburgh ; the whole lands 
of the barony of Enach, in the shire of Dumfreis ; the half of the barony of 
Culter, with the gift of the church thereof, in the shire of Lanark ; the whole lands 
of a third part of Seres, with an annual rent of £6, us., out of Lustremote, in the 
shire of Fife ; all of which lands had been resigned by the said Robert into the 
king's hands. The lands of Wogre to be held of the king for giving three suits 
at three head-pleas in the Court of Edinburgh ; the lands of Enach for similarly 
giving three suits at Dumfreis ; for the half of Culter, &c, the service used and 
wont ; the third part of Ceres for service used and wont ; and for the annual rent 
one penny, to be paid at Cupar under the name of blench farm. The frank 
tenement of the lands, &c, above written, is reserved to John Menzies [mentioned 
in part of the transumpt which is torn away], dated at Edinburgh, 16th April, 
17th year of reign of Robert II. (1387). The witnesses are: Walter, Cardinal of 
the Apostolic See ; John, Bishop of Dunkeld, the king's Chancellor ; John, his 
eldest son, Steward of Scotland ; Robert, Earl of Fife and Menteith ; James, Earl 

92 THE "RED & WHITE" BOOK OF MENZIES. [a.d. 1390. 

of Douglas, the king's sons ; Archibald de Douglas, Thomas de Erskin, Kinsmen. — 
Transumpt of 1439 — No. 10, Castle Menzies Qiarter-room. 

The Menzies lands of Vogry, Seres, and Enouch, have already been described ; 
the following will also give some idea of the lands of Culter, which, with these 
others, formed the southern possessions of the Menzies', then held by the eldest 
son of the chief. 

Culter is a barony and parish, with a village of the same name, in the 
south-east of the Upper Ward of Lanarkshire. Its post town is Biggar ; its 
length to the north is about 8 miles, and in breadth about 4 miles. A lofty 
watershed of mountains, part of the backbone of the southern Highlands of 
Scotland, forms most of its boundary with Peeblesshire ; and a stream, fed by 
many head-rills among these mountains, and bearing the name of " Culter 
Water," runs through the centre of the parish northward to the Clyde. The 
northern district varies in character between vale and plain, and presents to 
the spectator on any of the neighbouring heights a scene of fine, soft beauty. 
The other districts display great variety of upland. A long range of hills, 
partly parked and planted with trees, rises from the vale abruptly, and these, 
as they recede to the south, increase into mountains covered with heath, the 
highest of which is Culterfell — 2330 feet high. This mountainous country of 
the Clan Menzies is not without its own peculiar beauty. There is no sweeter 
glen than that of Culter Water. Beyond Birthwood it narrows between the 
hills, with little more than space for the stream, which there has its linns and 
waterfalls, with their accompaniments of dash, rock, and roar, sufficient to 
captivate the admirer of wild and romantic beauty. The village of Culter 
stands on the road to Edinburgh from Dumfries, and on the Culter Water 
3 miles SW. of Biggar. It is pleasantly situated, embowered among shrubs 
and trees. The present parish of Culter appears to form the old Menzies barony 
of the Menzies' of Culter, which Sir Robert Menzies received from his father by 
the foregoing charters. 

It would appear that about 1390 additional grants of land were given to 
Sir Robert Menzies by his father. These were in the native country of the 
clan in Athole, and this was probably given in consequence of his father 
purposing going to the Continent, so that his son would be able to look after 
the interests of the clan in his absence. These lands are named in the 
following charter, A.D. 1390 : — 

" Transumpt of a charter by John Illnstris Regis Scocie primogenitus 
(afterwards King Robert III.), Earl of Carrick and Steward of Scotland, to his 
shield-bearer Robert Menzeis, of the lands of Weme, Abirfallibege, Comnery, 
and thanage of Cranach, Achmor, Kinknock, with the two Rachrewis and 
Auchecrosk, in the earldom of Athole and shire of Perth, which lands belonged 


The hoary cliffs are crown'd wi' flowers, 
White o'er the linn the burnie pours, 
And rising, weets wi' misty showers 
The Birks of Aberfeldy. 

— Burns. 

Hunters IVoods, Forests, and Estates of Perthshire. 


to John Menzeis his father, by whom they were resigned into the granter's hands 
at Perth : To be held by the said John and the heirs male of his body, whom 
failing, to the heirs male of the foresaid John, of the granter and his heirs for 
the services used and wont. The frank tenement of the lands is reserved to 
the said John Menzeis during his lifetime." 

This charter bears no date, but was granted between 1374 and 1390. The 
witnesses are : — Robert, Alexander, and David, Earls of Fife, Buchan, and 
Strathearn, the granter's brothers ; Robert de Erskine, knights ; John Steward, 
Lord of Innermeth ; Robert de Atholia, Maurice de Drummund, Walter de 
Moray, Andrew Mercer. — Original Transumpt of ijjp, in Charter Room of Castle 
Menzies, No. 11. 

Weem is one of the most picturesque villages in Scotland, about 1 Y / 2 miles 
from Aberfeldy, on the north bank of the Tay, both mentioned in the foregoing 
charter. The village nestles beautifully at the base of the magnificent Rock of 
Weem. It is the village from which the barony and parish of Weem takes its 
name, and is situated in the north-west of Perthshire. The parish contains the 
villages of Weem, Colvalloch, Balnasuin, Balwahanaid, Cragganester, Tombreck, 
and Craggantoul, all of which are included in the above charter under Weme. 
As a parish it lies dispersed in separate and far distant portions, over nearly a 
fourth of Perthshire, from near the head of Glenlochy on the west, including 
Strathban on the east, and from 3 miles south of Loch Tummel on the north, 
to the vicinity of Loch-Ear on the south, at a distance of 22 miles from the 
parish church at Weem. It also stretches to the nearest farm of the Church of 
Killin, and has other lands and farms at a still greater distance — some of them 
at a distance of 30 miles away — including Glenlochy and Glenlyon. Aberfeldy 
— Abirfallibeg — lies on the south bank of the Tay, facing Weem, through which 
the Moness Burn runs to join the Tay. The scenery in the vicinity of the town 
is among the most interesting in Scotland, especially up the Moness or " Menzies' 
Burn," which is celebrated for its wooded ravines, and its three wild roaring 
cascades, which are characterised by Pennant as the " epitome of everything that 
can be admired in waterfalls," and made famous by Burns in the lines — 

" The braes ascend like lofty wa's, 
The foaming stream deep roaring fa's, 
O'erhung wi' fragrant spreading shaws, 
The Birks o' Aberfeldy." 

From the high parts of the " Birks of Aberfeldy " can be seen the vale of the 
" Appin na Meinerich " and the turrets and woods of Castle Menzies, backed 
with the Rock of Weem and the soaring Grampians. All around is one sublime 
amphitheatre, with a foreground of objects stretched out before the eye ever 

94 THE "RED 6- WHITE" BOOK OF MENZIES. [ad. 1390-1392. 

beautiful and changing, including verdant meadows, groves in green array, and 
the broad and limpid river Tay rolling in its cradle of granite toward 

" The white waves of the restless sea." 

The lordship and barony of Weem was identical with the parish of Weem, 
which is divided into 8 districts — 1st, Weem; 2nd, Murtly ; 3rd, Sticks; 4th, 
Auchmore ; 5th, Glenquich ; 6th, Crannich ; 7th, Glenlyon ; 8th, Glenlochy. 
Comnery, now Comrie, mentioned in the foregoing charter, is in the 4th district. 
AuCHMoRE is Comrie and Kinknock, which stretches northward about 1^ miles, 
and extends lengthwise to the southward from the west end of Loch Tay to 
the boundary of the parish of Comrie, near Loch Earn. In it is Drummond Hill. 
These all partaking of the wooded and magnificent properties of the general 
landscape, it is in the finest part of Perthshire's greatest lake. It is here, on 
the banks of the Lyon, that Comrie Castle stands. The lands of Cranach, 
mentioned in this charter, is in the 6th district of the parish of Weem, and 
stretches northward in an oblong of about 3 miles by about 1 1 % miles from 
about the middle of the north bank of Loch Tay. The lands of the Two 
Rachrewis, now Dalrawer, lie on the north bank of the Tay, a few miles west 
of Castle Menzies. All these lands make up one grand tract of country, 
stretching about 32 miles in length to about 13 miles in breadth. The chiefs of 
Menzies, as lords superior of the barony and parish of Weem, are entitled to 
feu-rents from all those who now hold these lands, and on the succession of 
heirs they are entitled to be paid at least one year's rental from the heir before 
he has a right to feu possession of these lands. The same applies to any change 
or transfer of all lands in the barony of Weem or Menzies, by purchase or 
otherwise (as has happened several times), the purchaser or heir paying to the 
Menzies of Menzies, for the time being, one year's rent before he could get full 
possession in feu-farm. 

In the reign of King Robert III., who ascended the throne of Scotland 
in April 1 390, Sir Robert the Menzies got in 1392 a charter renewing to him 
the possession of the lands and barony of Colinton, near Edinburgh. Translated, 
it is somewhat as follows : — 

"Anno 1392. Charter of confirmation to the possession of the lands of 
Coldynghame granted to Sir Robert the Meingnys, Knight, at Edynburgh, the 
16th day of March, in the second year of the reign of Robert III., 1392, which 
by the same charter, gives, concedes, and confirms in everything the whole 
portions conjointly with the arrangement of its form of division and efficient 
open spaces free, together as heretofore, the King himself approves and ratifies 
this present charter under the impress of his seal. Confirmed by himself the 
King, &c. &c. — Register of the Great Seal, Scot., p. 202-3, v °l- n - 


In 1395, on the occasion of Sir Robert Menzies receiving the barony 
of Vogry, he had to give his mother a liferent of the lands of Culter. 
Nisbet says, p. 244, vol. ii. : — " Betwixt the said John (Menzies, his father) 
and Robert, his son and heir, anno 1395, whereby Robert became bound 
to dispose to Christian de Meyners, his mother, the liferent of the lands 
of Culter." 

Sir Robert the Menzies, after the death of his kinsman King Robert II., with 
whom he stood in the greatest friendship, does not appear to have figured 
so much at Court as previously. After the accession of King Robert III., his 
cousin, there does not appear to have been the same friendship existing, perhaps 
through the scheming influence of the Duke of Albany. After his father's death, 
he evidently maintained the friendship with the Earl of Mar that had existed 
between the Earl and his father, who, as companions in war, had gained the 
great victory at Liege, and to whom, mainly for his courage, skill, and valour, 
may be ascribed the great fame which the Earl of Mar at this time held as a 
leader, warrior, and general. 

The earldom of Ross having become vacant by the death of the Wolf of 
Badenoch, the earldom was claimed by the Regent (the Duke of Albany) for 
his second son the Earl of Buchan. It was also claimed by Donald, Lord of 
the Isles, who, to enforce his claim, in 141 1, with an army of about 10,000 
Islemen and Highlanders, landed on the mainland and carried all before them 
until they entered Mar, intending to plunder Aberdeen, and ravish the country to 
the banks of the river Tay. They got as far as the Menzies lands of Garioch, 
in Aberdeenshire, and encamped at the village of Harlaw. Mar had collected 
an army of the flower of the Highland gentry of Aberdeenshire, Perthshire, 
Athole, and the surrounding districts, mostly clad in armour and mounted on 
steeds ; the chiefs of the central clans, followed by their clans, and a full muster 
of the citizens of Aberdeen, led by Provost Davidson and Gilbert Menzies of 
Pitfodels, his successor, who held these lands of Garioch. It is evident Sir Robert 
Menzies was also there, with a portion of Clan Menzies, to support his father's 
friend and companion in arms. On sighting the army of the Lord of the Isles, 
Mar, although only about a tenth of their numbers, resolved to give them battle, 
and drew up his army accordingly. On a signal, the Islemen and Highlanders, 
shouting their war cries, rushed upon Mar's army. They were, however, received 
with great firmne§s, both sides fighting with the greatest bravery and determina- 
tion. Great was the slaughter on both sides, in which Clan Menzies lost 
their beloved chief. Mar and his followers kept up the fatal struggle till 
nightfall, when darkness alone put an end to the battle, which was fought on 
the Eve of St James, 25th July 141 1. Practically, neither party gained a victory, 
but those of the mainland held their ground and the Islemen fell back, so that 

96 THE " RED cV WHITE" BOOK OF MENZIES. [a.d. 141 1. 

in its results it was favourable to the mainland Celts, and productive of the 
peace of Scotland in general afterwards. 

A great many of the chiefs of the central Highlands were slain in the 
conflict. It would appear that Sir Robert the Menzies was also among the 
slain, or died immediately after from his wounds, as his eldest son David 
got possession of his vast estates shortly after. Davidson, the Provost 
of Aberdeen, was another of those slain. Gilbert Menzies, of Pitfodels, 
survived the conflict, and was the successor of Davidson as Lord Provost 
of Aberdeen, which honourable office was held almost continuously by the 
Menzies' of Pitfodels and their descendants from this time (141 1) down to 
about 1634. 

Chief Sir Robert the Menzies was born about 1353, and on his death at 
the Battle of Harlaw he would be about 59 years of age. He left two sons — 

(1st.) David, his successor, who inherited his vast estates, and afterwards 
by his holy life became the Saint David Menzies of the Appin na Meinerich, or 
Strath Tay, where his fame for goodness to the poor, and works of charity, piety, 
and kindness still lingers. 

(2nd.) Sir William Menzies — one of the Scottish knights who accompanied 
King James I. — who was compelled to attend Henry V. of England in his 
wars in France. 

It may be interesting to give here all that we know of Sir William Menzies, 
the second son of the chief Sir Robert the Menzies, and brother to Sir David 
Menzies. To do so it will be necessary to explain that in his time the Prince of 
Scotland, afterwards James I., was a captive in the hands of Henry V. of England, 
who at this period had almost conquered France. The French, in their extremity, 
looked to Scotland for assistance against the English, and it was determined 
by the Scottish Parliament to send an army under Sir John Stewart to France, 
when an army of 7000 Scottish troops were safely landed in France, where they 
distinguished themselves in a signal manner in their operations against the 
English. Henry V., being alarmed at the success of the strong auxiliary force 
which the Scots had sent, insisted on his royal captive (James I.) accompanying 
him in his expedition to renew the war in France, and, according to English- 
historians, the Scottish King, when requested by Henry to command his subjects 
to leave the service of France, replied that " as long as he remained a prisoner it 
neither became him to issue nor them to obey such an order." But, he added, 
that " to win renown as a private knight, and to be instructed in the art of war 
under so great a captain, was an opportunity he willingly embraced." An 
arrangement was come to by which James I. visited Scotland, and got a small 
body of about 200 knights and esquires to attend him in the French war. One 
of the knights chosen by James I. was Sir William Menzies, who mustered 


16 esquires of Clan Menzies under his banner of " Red and White," and 
followed King James' person to France. Thus we find that Sir William Menzies 
had several payments made to him, which are recorded in the " Callender of 
Documents " in England " Relating to Scotland." The first entry is dated the 
1st October to 8th November 1421, to "Sir William" Menzies [corrupted] 
" Meryng, knight, and 16 esquires to attend the King of Scots' " (James I.) 
" person in the French war." 

From this time his name does not occur again until the following 
September, when, on his return from France, there is another entry. During 
the intervening space of time Sir William Menzies was constantly with 
King James through all the engagements of the campaign in France, and the 
English records give us considerable details regarding their doings, such as — 

Oct. i-Nov. 8. Sir William Meryng (Menzies), Knight, and 16 esquires, to 
attend the King of Scots' (James I.) person in the French war. 

The following is an entry of payments on account of King James I. and his 
officers in the war : — 918. " For the expenses of James, K(ing) of Scots, under the 
K(ing) of England's rule, and various esquires and officers of the late k(ing), 
continually attending the K(ing) of Scots, for safe custody of his person between 
said 1st October 1421 and 19th September following — £544, 5s. 8^d." Then 
following this we find the payments made to the esquires of Clan Menzies and 
their chieftain, Sir William Menzies, as follows : — " To Sir William Maying 
(Menzies), Knight, four esquires, two valets of the household, and 10 archers 
in attendance on the person of the K(ing) of Scots by the K(ing) (of 
England's) command in the war in France, for 30 days, their pay and 
regard, by warrant of 29th October 142 1 — .£20, 16s. ioj^d. ; similar pay 
to Sir William (Menzies) and others ut supra, attending on the K(ing) of 
Scots at Rouen and elsewhere for 210 days, by warrant of 25th August 1422 
—£83, 6s. lo%d.," and 

"To Sir John Stewart, Knight, for himself, 3 men-at-arms, and 12 archers in 
the late K(ing's) service in France, a prest on the 18th February 1421-22, for 
Michaelmas preceding — £39, 9s. 2j^d., for which he must answer [and further 
prest of £19, 9s. 7%d., and £29, 16s. 3d.], London: the said Sir John Stewart 
answers for the above." 

We have no information whether Sir William Menzies ever survived the war, 
but the last entry of payments to his company of esquires by the muster-roll is 
very much reduced in numbers through the ravages of war; instead of 16 
esquires only 4 were left on his list, and it is just possible that he perished in the 
war before the return of King James to Scotland about May 1423. The latest 
date connected with the name of Sir William Menzies is 25th August 1422. — Cal. 
Docs, re Scot., p. 185, vol. iii. 




During the war there were many gentlemen and clansmen of Clan Menzies 
along with the Scottish army fighting on the side of France, some of whom even 
afterwards entered the French service and joined the Scots Guards in France, 
where their names are still preserved on the muster-rolls, but are much corrupted 
from the present spelling. 

The Menzies lands, town and barony of Ceres, in the time of Chiefs Sir 
Robert the Menzies and his father Sir John the Menzies, had a church of consider- 
able note which flourished under them, but after the Chiefs of Menzies feued or let 
these lands to others the church of Ceres gradually decayed. A relic, however, of 
their time is the crucifix found in the churchyard of Ceres, and now in the 
National Museum of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, Edinburgh. It is of 
copper or bronze, enamelled blue and light green, 



Cbief Sir 5)avio tbe flDen\>bies, 45tb from flDa\mu6 ano 
8tb Baron of flDen3ie9. 

Governor of Orkney. 

Otherwise known as "Saint David Menzies of Weem." 

born 1377 — died 1449. 

SIR DAVID THE MENZIES, Knight, succeeded his father, Sir Robert 
the Menzies, in the whole lands and estates of Menzies, as already 
mentioned, the greater bulk of which lay in Athole and Breadalbin. He 
seems to have got full possession immediately after his father's death, 
which was at the battle of Harlaw in 141 1. For a few months after that conflict 
Sir David gave " for a salutatioum, or peace-offering, for the repose of the departed 
spirit of his father and ancestors, an annual payment of six pounds as a solace, 
from the annual rents of the lands of Luscer-Evioth as an offering from him, his 
predecessors and his successors, by whose hands Balivi (at that time) was given 
in fue-rent to Muskilburgh!' This he gave to the Abbacy of Dunfermline in 141 2, 
so that he must have made these grants as soon as he came into possession of 
the lands and estates of his father. This charter, as given by Nisbet, reads : — "fro 
salute anim<z niece, et animarwn farentum meorum, &c, unum annuum redditum 
sex librarian et undicum solidorum, mild annuatim de terris de Luscer-Evioth, 
debitum, et fer me, et fredecessores meos liucusque fer manus Balivi, qui fro tern fore 
fuerit fro Muskilburgh receftum," &c. The lands of " Luscer-Evioth " seem to 
be part of those which the great-grandmother of Sir David, Margaret de Ouyoth, 
had brought into the family, and are now known by the name of " Evelick," which 
forms part of the ancient estates of Evioth of Busey, her ancestors. They are in 
the parish of Kilspindie, Perthshire, in the Gowrie district adjoining Errol and 
Kinfauns, and embrace Evelick Hill, 832 feet high — commanding one of the most 
gorgeous panoramic prospects in Scotland — on the summit of which are the vestiges 
of an ancient fortification. A little to the south-east are the ruins of the old 
Menzies' fortalice, Evelick Castle, which Sir David apparently held in right of his 
great-grandmother. — Nisbet, 244, vol. ii. 

Sir David the Menzies married about 1409 the Lady Marjory Sinclair, the 

H 2 

ioo THE "RED &- WHITE" BOOK OF MENZIES. [a.d. 1409-1423. 

daughter of Henry Saint-Clair, the Lord of Roslyn and the Earl of Orkney, and 
sister to Henry, second Earl of Orkney, who was in charge of the young king, 
James I., when taken prisoner at sea by the English in 1405. Sir David was by 
the earl left sole tutor to William Sinclair, his son, afterwards Earl of Orkney, 
Lord High Chancellor, and Lord High Admiral of Scotland. In his nomination, 
Henry the earl calls Sir David his brother-in-law. This document was in the 
charter-room of Castle Menzies about 1750, being referred to by Nisbet, p. 244, 
vol. ii. ; who also records that Sir David the Menzies was appointed governor of 
the Orkneys, which then belonged to the King of Denmark. This office Sir 
David had conferred upon him after his marriage with the Earl of Orkney's 
daughter about 1409. He continued to govern the islands of Orkney and 
Shetland up to 1423, when he had to become a hostage for the freedom of King 
James I. Smibert says that " we find David Menzies of Weem (de Wimo) 
appointed governor of Orkney and Shetland in 1423, under the most clement 
Lord and Lady, Eric and Philipa, King and Queen of Denmark, Sweedland, and 
Norway." It must have been about the end of 1423 that Sir David resigned the 
active governorship of the Orkneys, as he became a hostage for King James I. on 
28th March 1424. 

It will be remembered that James I., when on his way to France in his nth year, 
had been seized by the English during the time of a truce, in 1405, and after 
having been fourteen years a captive in the Tower of London was at length, 
through the exertions of the Earl of Douglas, Sir David Menzies, and others, 
released from his imprisonment on the agreement that, by the law of nations, 
no ransom could be asked for a prince captured during a time of truce ; but 
that the Scots would pay the expenses that had been incurred during his residence 
in England, and his education, which was fixed at £40,000 English money ; and 
that certain hostages from the noblest families in Scotland should be delivered 
into the hands of the English, to remain in England at their own expense till 
the whole sum be paid. A truce for seven years was also concluded. King 
James thereafter getting married, set out for Scotland accompanied by his Queen 
and a brilliant cortege of nobility. At Durham he was met by the Earls of 
Lennox, Crawford, Orkney, and others, with a train of the highest barons, of 
whom was Sir David the Menzies and other gentry of Scotland, amounting to 
300 persons. From these a band of 28 hostages was selected, comprising 
some of the most noble and opulent persons in the country. One of these 
hostages was Chief Sir David the Menzies, knight. In the schedule containing 
their names, the annual rent of their estates is also set down — Sir David's being 
200 merks, an enormous sum in those days — which renders it a document of 
much interest, as illustrating the wealth and comparative affluence of the Scottish 
aristocracy. From Durham, James, still surrounded by his nobles and a grand 

a.d. 1423-1424] SAINT DAVID MENZIES. lot 

train of English barons, proceeded on his joyful progress, and halted on reaching 
the Abbey of Melrose, for the purpose of fulfilling the obligation which bound 
him to confirm the treaty by his royal oath upon the Holy Gospels within four 
days after his entry into his dominions. 

In the schedule containing the names of the hostages is the name of Sir David 
Menzies, who took the oath and affixed his seal to the schedule on the 28th March 
1424, and thereafter was conveyed to " Ponterfract " a captive, to be held there 
for the fulfilment of the debts of his king and country. We herewith give a copy 
of this document from the English records, and a description of the seals 
attached to it, which makes it of great interest and value to every Scotsman. It 
is as follows : — 

" 28th March 1424. David Meignez delivered hostage for James 1st. — 
Indenture between James, King of Scots, and 9 English ambassadors, delivering 
the hostages for his ransom, viz. : — David, son and heir of the Earl of Athol, 1200 
marks ; Thomas, Earl of Moray, 1000 marks ; Alexander, Earl of Crawford, 1000 
marks ; Duncan, Lord of Argillie, 1500 marks ; William, son and heir of the Lord 
of Dalkeith, 1500 marks ; Gilbert, son and heir of William, the Constable of 
Scotland, 800 marks ; Robert, the Mareschal of Scotland, 800 marks ; Robert, 
Lord of Erskine, 1000 marks ; Walter, Lord of Dirlton, 800 marks ; Thomas Boyd 
of Kilmarnock, 500 marks ; Sir Patrick of Dunbar, Lord of Cammok, 500 marks ; 
Alexander, Lord of Gordoune, 400 marks. Hostages in the room of others 
absent : — Sir William of Abernethy, 500 marks ; Andrew Gray of Foulis, 600 
marks ; Sir Robert of Livinston, 400 marks ; John Lindesay, 500 marks ; Sir 
Robert Lille, 300 marks ; James, Lord of Caldor, 400 marks ; James, Lord of 
Cadizo, 500 marks ; Sir William of Rothvane, 400 marks ; William Olyfaunt, 
Lord of Aberdalgy ; George, son and heir of Hugh Cambel, 300 marks ; Robert, 
son and heir of Sir Robert of Mantalent, 400 marks ; David Meignez [Menzies], 
200 marks ; David of Ogilby, 200 marks ; Patrick, son and heir of Sir John Lyon, 
300 marks ; and the obligations of the four burghs, with his own [the King of 
Scotland's] oath. — Durham. The Privy Seal of Scotland " [as before] (appended), 
one-third broken off." — Cal. Doc. re Scot, p. 193-4, vol. iv. 

28th March 1424. Oath taken by the hostages for King James — to which 
is appended 27 very small signets, some much defaced. On two, a 
hart's head and neck couped appear ; on another, a swan's or heron's ; on 
three, an eagle's head between plumes, and the letter " K " ; on five, a muzzled 
bear's head and neck, erased ; on three, a griffin's head and neck, erased ; on two, 
a portcullis or harrow. Only two are identified — one with a goat's head and a neck 
bearded and horned, erased, with collar on its neck turned to dexter. Leg., " W. 
Haliburton " . . . " Foy." The other — a horse's head — may be Sir Patrick 
Dunbar's. -^TocT^^ 


102 THE "RED 6- WHITE" BOOK OF MENZIES. [a.d. 1424. 

It will be seen from the foregoing that the annual revenue of the estate of 
Sir David Menzies was 200 marks — a very large rent roll in those days— and being 
for only one estate, does not include the other estates of the different branches 
of the clan. 

We next find that Sir David is ordered to be taken from " Ponterfract " to 
the Tower of London, as follows : — 

"21st May 1424. David Menzies, hostage for James I., sent from Pontefract 
to the Tower. The K(ing) orders Robert Waterton, Esq., Constable of Pontefract 
Castle, to deliver David, eldest son and heir of the Earl of Athol ; Alexander, Earl 
of Crawford ; Alexander of Gordoune, John Lindesay ; Patrick, eldest son and 
heir of Sir John of Lyon, knight ; Andrew Gray of Foullys ; David of Ogilvy, Sir 
William of Rothvane, knight ; David MEIGNEZ (Menzies), and William Olyfaunt, 
Lord of Abirdalgy — hostages under the treaty with the K(ing) of Scots. — To 
Robert Scot, Lieutenant of the Constable of the Tower of London."— Cal. Docs, re 
Scot., p, 195, vol. iv. 

This is the first order given to change the hostages — for what reason cannot 
now be discovered, but certainly the Tower of London was a more safe place to 
keep such gentlemen. The English, ever with an eye to the main chance, saw that, 
in the event of any hitch taking place, they were secure there, in the event of 
requiring to put them under close supervision. Sir David Menzies and the other 
captives finding their quarters not so comfortable in the Tower of London, 
petitioned that they should be permitted to take advantage of the treaty under 
which they became hostages, and be allowed their servants to attend to their 
wants. In the safe-conduct granted, we find that Sir David the Menzies had 
three servants granted to himself personally ; also a priest, who seems to have 
been attending on him, showing the growing tendency of Sir David to a religious 
life, which afterwards led him to take holy orders, and eventually becoming one 
of the saints of the Church. His name as Saint David still lingers in his own 
native glen of Strath Tay, or Appin na Meinnerich, and is applied to the church 
of Weem. We here give his request for a safe-conduct to his servants to pass 
through England with the servants of his fellow-hostages, as follows : — 

" Under the treaty with the King of Scots, Sir David Menzies (and others) 
asks for safe conduct for his servants. — July 4. Memoranda for safe conducts for 
the servants of the Scottish hostages, viz., Be yt remembred to grant a condit to 
the servants of the Arelle of Muraffe, that is to say, to John Bryandir, Thomas 
of Raty, Thomas of Lastyk, Richard Mordrowe, and 3 servants with each of hem, 
with wat thei brenge with hem, be it hors, hawkes, or houndes, duryng a year or 
ony odir gode. Also to James of Dunbar, Lord of Ferendrat, for John Rogerson, 
Thomas Foysoth, with 3 servants each, ut supra. For Alisandre Lyndeseye, 
Earl of Crafford, another for Blare, Master Alisandre Lyndeseye, Master 

a.d. 1424.] SAINT DAVID MENZIES. 103 

Ingram Lyndeseye, Nicol Launsman, Geffray Strethaughym [Strachan], Master 
John Flemynge, and 1 servant each. For Alisandir Seton (Ceton), the Lord of 
Gordon, another for John Rete and Mathew Ethal, and 2 servants. Davy 
Ogilby, another for. James of Mankorre, John Fodiheryngham and 3 servants; 
(for) Davy MENYAS (Menzies), another for Thomas of Tillow, 'prest,' John 
Hadyngton, John Makke (Mackay), Walter Freselle (Fraser), Andrew Dalowe, and 
Davy Johnnesson. Davy Stiuard, the Master of Athelle, another for John of the 
Spense, Mathew Everard, Thomas Bele, and Sir Adam More. Walter Haliburton, 
another for William Freselle (Fraser), John of Caugilton, John of Ayton, William 
of Philmore, ut supra. Sir Robert of Lile, another for John of Deny and 
Gilcrist, Squier, and 3 servants, ut supra. Gilbert de Hay, another for Thomas 
Toryne, Nicolle Fenton, Nicolle Makkesson, and 2 servants. Sir Robert 
Erskyn, another for Calbreth and Colston, and 3 servants, ut supra. William of 
Aburnethe, another for Alisandre of Aburnethe, and Robert of the Spense, and 
2 servants, ut supra." — Cat. Docs, re Scot., p 196, vol. iv. 

The above gives some idea as to the social standing or rank of each of the 
hostages. The fact that Sir David the Menzies was allowed three servants and 
a priest shows that he must have been a man of consequence. In their confine- 
ment, the Scottish hostages appear to have made themselves as comfortable as 
the English government would allow. After Sir David had undergone about a 
year's confinement, a warrant was granted for the exchange of hostages, when Sir 
David the Menzies and others were taken from the Tower of London on the 
28th February 1425, to the fortified city of Durham, there to be exchanged for 
other Scottish hostages of equal importance, who were to take their place. The 
warrant is thus recorded : — 

" Sir David Menzies and other prisoners to be taken to Durham from the 
Tower. — Feb. 28. Warrant to the Chancellor for writs to the Constable of the 
Tower, to deliver David, eldest son of the Earl of Athol, Alexander, Earl of 
Craufurd, Duncan Cambel of Argill, David Menzies, Alexander of Sctoune, 
Thomas Boyle, John Lyndsay, Robert Mawtelande, Patrick Lyoune, George 
Cambel, David of Ogilby, and Sir Robert Lyle — and to the Constable of 
Knaresburgh Castle to deliver Thomas, Earl of Moray, Sir Robert Kethe, and 
Walter of Haliburtoune — to the k(ing)'s esquire, Henry Louude, to be taken to 
Durham, and exchanged for others approved by the wardens of the Marches." — 
Cat. Docs, re Scot., p. 199, vol. iv. 

From the Tower the prisoners were lodged in the castle of Durham. Sir 
David the Menzies and the other hostages from thence were ordered to the castle 
of Westminster, under the wardenship of the Sheriff of York. They seem to 
have been kept in confinement at Durham for about four months. This is the 
first document wherein a Campbell appears with a Menzies. It will be observed 

io 4 THE "RED 6- WHITE" BOOK OF MENZIES. [a.d. 1425. 

that the spelling of the name is exactly the same as the modern way — " Menzies " 
— and it is not improbable that, owing to the difficulty of saying " Meingeis " in 
English, they have here sounded the letter Z, and the spelling has in this way been 
corrupted. In the following they spell more to the sound of the name, which 
is the order to send Sir David Menzies to the castle of Westminster, 
York :— 

"June 16. Warrant for letters to Henry Lound the k(ing)'s esquire, 
commanding him to deliver David, son of the Earl of Athol ; Thomas, Earl of 
Moray, the Earl of Crauford, Robert Kethe, Walter Haliburton, Alexander Seton, 
Thomas Boyde, John of Lyndesay, Patrick Lyon, George Cambell, David Ogilby, 
Robert Lylle, Duncan Cambell, and David MEYGNES, hostages for the K(ing) of 
Scotland, to Sir John Langeton, Sheriff of York, and warden of the castle, 
Westminster. Similar for Sir Robert Erskin, knight, and James Dunbar, esquire, 
to be delivered by the Constable of Knaresburgh to the said sheriff, 19th June 
1425." — Cal. Docs, re Scot., p. 201, vol. iv. 

After the delivery of Sir David Menzies at York, 19th of June 1425, he was 
confined in York Castle, there to await the completion of the arrangements for 
his exchange, which was exceedingly slow. He was again ordered to be taken 
from York Castle to Durham on the 16th of July 1425. The King of England 
sent an order to the Bishop of Winchester, Chancellor of England, intimating that 
he had granted an order for a number of the hostages to return to Scotland, of 
whom was Sir David the Menzies. This letter reads as follows : — 

" July 16, 1425. The K(ing) of England to his cousin the Bishop of Winchester, 
Chancellor, signifies that under the provisions of the late treaty for the liberation 
of his cousin, James, King of Scots, he has granted leave to the following hostages 
to return to Scotland till Martinmas, viz. : — Thomas, Earl of Moray ; Sir Robert 
Kethe, Marshal of Scotland ; Duncan Campbelle of Argyle, Walter of Haliburton, 
Alexander of Seton of Gordon, Thomas Boyde, John Lindesay, Sir Robert 
Lyle, George Cambelle, David Meignes, and David of Ogilby, their place being 
taken by — Patrick, eldest son of the Earl of March of Scotland ; Sir John 
Mungumbry of Ardrossan, Robert Stewart of Lorn, Sir Thomas Hay of Yester, 
Sir William Borthwyk, senior, Sir Adam of Hepburn of Halys, Norman of Lesley, 
George Lyle, eldest son of said Sir Robert Lyle, and Andrew Kethe of Enyrrugy, 
who have been accepted by the wardens of the Marches in their room. Commands 
letters patent under the Great Seal in their favour, not to be delivered to the 
hostages but to the Keeper of the Privy Seal." The names of George Cambelle 
and David MEIGNES are erased in the first part, but retained in the permissive 
clause ; by writ of Privy Seal of same date they were ordered to be taken from 
York Castle to Durham. — Cal. Docs., re Scot., p. 201, vol. iv. 

Immediately after this there was issued by the English Government another 


document, dated 16th July 1425, in the form of a licence granted to Sir David 
the Menzies, giving him his freedom, and allowing him to return to Scotland, as 
he had delivered into the hands of the Bishop of Winchester hostages 
equal in rank and influence with himself. The record reads thus : — " Licence to 
George Cambell and David Meignes, Scotch hostages, to return to Scotland, 
as they have delivered two substitutes. Similar licence for Thomas, Earl of 
Moray ; Robert, Lord Keith, Marshal of Scotland, and seven others." — From the 
Syllabus of Rhymer's Fcedera, p. 642, vol. ii., &c. 

During the confinement of Sir David in the English prisons King James I., 
out of gratitude for his sufferings on his behalf, and as an acknowledgment of 
his own and his ancestors' patriotic services to Scotland, gave to Sir David 
the Menzies, with consent and by Act of the Scottish Parliament, the lands of 
Dalketli and Kerliglippis, which lie north of the Menzies' lands of Vogry, and 
may have joined them — the Parliamentary record of which, translated, reads : — 
"In the Parliament held at Perth, nth day of March 1425. By an Act of 
Parliament of James 1st, by the Grace of God, King of Scotland, held at Perth 
on the nth day of the month of March 1425 anno, and in the 35th of his age and 
the 20th of his reign. For holding certain Crown possessions as lord under 
the king, for these lands gives the king the usual salutes [services], whereby they 
are bound or joined together, as showen by records in order descending suc- 
cessively, and represented by the noble Sir David Menyhes of Vogry, granted 
together as showen by the noble donner, with power of gift by James of Douglas, 
the gift of Dalketh, with right of future superior of these lands, together with those 
of Kerlinlippis, to the said David and his heirs legitimately in peacefull possession, 
for a 1 2th part yearly, with the other lands of the said David, from his remote 
ancestors descending, as a recognition of faithfull and patriotic services his large 
possessions were given." 

This is followed by another Parliamentary record, which refers to the same : — 
" Power to borrow is given to Alan of Erskyne, with security as usual, the said 
lands as under the usual custom entrance is given to said David [Menzies] for 
a full quantity of good grain, under the which as indeed custom demanded, with 
full service as understood at the present time, and rehearsed in the records of 
Parliament, provided he remains undisgraced before God, given by the said 
donner in the hearing of Parliament to the said David, as far as the root from 
this time is founded for State business. And given for good reasons merited 
after consideration of duty, decree the said lands of ' Kerliglippis ' and the said 
donation of Dalketh given in the usual form declared as a recognition of the 
debt and interest in that place of the said David, as possessed by him legally untill 
now. Firmly [confirmed] by my full liberty, given under witness of the Great 
Seal and donnation of the King, into the possession of the said David, at 

io6 THE "RED & WHITE" BOOK OF MENZIES. [a.d. 1425-1428. 

Edinburgh, 27th day of March, anno 1425." — Acts of Parliament of Scotland, 
p. 26, vol. ii. 

The James of Douglas mentioned in the foregoing was married to Lady 
Beatric Sinclair, the daughter of Henry Sinclair, Earl of Orkney, and brother- 
in-law of Sir David the Menzies, by which marriage he had a son William, 8th 
Earl of Douglas. — Scots Nation, p. 44, vol ii. 

After the return of Sir David the Menzies from his imprisonment in the 
Tower and other English strongholds, there were some communications between 
Sir David and his brother-in-law, the Earl of Orkney. One of these documents 
is mentioned in an old inventory of the muniments of Castle Menzies, dated 
1656, No. 14. It is in the form of an " atnorie " by the Earl of Orkney to 
Sir David Menzies, the Laird of Weymo, dated at Edinburgh, 16th December 
1426. From this time he seems to have begun to prepare himself for entering 
the Church; and in this year (1426) King James I. confirmed the rights of 
half the barony of Culter, with the patronage of the church of Culter, to John 
Maynheis, his son, on the resignation of these by his father Sir David Maynheis, 
in his favour. This charter is in the possession of the Menzies of Menzies. — 
Upper Ward of 'Lanarkshire, p. 262, vol. i. 

Sir David is thought to have had a daughter Katherine, who married 
"Alano of Erskyne." He seems to have been a son of Sir Robert Erskine, 
one of his companion hostages, who claimed the Earldom of Mar to his son 
Alano in right of his mother. Sir David in 1428 gave a grant of his lands of 
Vogry in the shire of Edinburgh, probably as the marriage portion of this 
daughter, to the family of whom these lands were to return, in the event of there 
being no issue, or of any of their descendants. This charter is thus recorded : — 

17th July 1428, James I. In the records is a charter, the engrossing of which 
has been left incomplete, and is here inserted in the Register of the Great Seal, 
p. 21. It is to the following effect: — "The king concedes to Alano of Erskyne 
and Katherine his spouse, the lands of Vogary in the shire of Edinburgh, 
which David the Meyhes of Weme resigned as a tenant, the said Alano and 
Katherine, to be held by them during their life and heritably to males legi- 
timately procreated between themselves, which failing legitimate, the nearest 
relation heritably whatsomever of the said Katherine (Menyhes) in full possession 
on her side to descend." 

About this time Sir David the Menzies made application to King James I. 
to confirm him in the patronage of the Kirk of Weem. This he got confirmed 
by document from the king, the original of which is noted in the old inventory 
made of the muniments of Castle Menzies in 1656, as — " Confirmation by King 
James 1st of the patronage of Weyme, to Sir David the Menzies, Edinburgh, 
14th February" (no year), but about 1429? Soon after this Sir David, byway 












a.d. 1429-1430.] SAINT DAVID MENZIES. 107 

of withdrawing from the cares of the world and the responsible position as chief 
of Clan Menzies, gave up to his eldest son John, the junior chief, the greater 
part of his possessions of Loch Tay and neighbourhood, stretching from near 
Killin all along the north side of Loch Tay up to Glengoulandie. We give the 
charter from the Charter Room of Castle Menzies : — 

No. 17. "Charter by King James the First to John Menzies, son of David 
Menzies, knight, of the lands of Eddiramuky and Morynche in Dessawer, the 
office of ' Tochacderety " of Kyrkcollony, the lands of Fornachty and Goulentyne, 
in the ' abthen ' of Dull, and lands of Achilly in the shire of Perth, which lands and 
office of the said David had surrendered into the king's hands : to be held by the 
said John and his heirs for ward, relief, marrage, and other services used and wont. 
The liferent of the above lands and office is reserved for the said David, and her 
terce for his spouse after his decease. Dated at Edinburgh, 4th September, 25th 
year of the king's reign" [1430]. The witnesses are — John, Bishop of Glasgow, 
Chancellor ; John Forestar, the King's Chamberlain ; Walter de Ogilby, Treasurer 
—knights ; and Mr William Foulis, Keeper of the Privy Seal, and Provost of 
Bothuill. — Also Transumpt of 1439. 

The Menzies' lands of Achilly in the shire of Perth, lie near Dunkeld, and are 
now a part of the parish of Clunie, near Loch Clunie. These lands give their name 
to the mountain Ben-Achally, which is about 5 miles north-east of Birnam, having 
an altitude of about 1S00 feet above sea-level, all within the barony of Menzies. 

In the same year (1430), Sir David got a charter conveying the lands of 
Enouch to his son Sir John, which is thus recorded : — " At Edinburgh, 4th 
September 1430. The king concedes to Johanni Meigners, son of David Mengeis, 
the lands and barony of Enouch in the shire of Dumfreis, which the said David 
personally resigns to be held by the same John, and heritably to males of his 
body legitimately begotten and procreated, which failing, to the said David, his 
father, and heritably to his, &c, as above ; which failing, legitimately descending 
to the descendants of the same in full possession, disposition, ward, &c, reserving 
the free holding of the said lands to the same David for the whole period of 
his life, and the third of the same to his spouse, with continuance." — From the 
Register of the Great Seal. There is also in the Charter Room of Castle Menzies 
what appears to be a copy of the foregoing, and is as follows : — 

No. 16. "Transumpt of a charter of King James the First, under the Great 
Seal, to John Menzeis, son of David Menzeis, Knight, of all the lands of the 
barony of Enach in the shire of Dumfreis, which lands had been resigned by the 
said David into the king's hands, To be held for rendering the king the wards and 
other customary duties of the lands. The liferent of the lands is reserved to 
the said David, and a third part thereof to his spouse after his decease. Dated 
at Edinburgh, 4th September, 25th year of the king's reign [143 1]. The witnesses 

10S THE "RED &> WHITE" BOOK OF MENZIES. [a.d. 1431-1433. 

are : John, Bishop of Glasgow, Chancellor ; John Forestar, and Mr William 
Foulis, Keeper of the Privy Seal." — Transumpt of 1439. 

Sir David the Menzies, becoming more affected towards the Church, gave 
many gifts to it, by which, unfortunately, much of the lands of his forefathers 
were lost to his descendants. He made large donations to religious houses, 
among which he gave the lands of Newhill in Lanarkshire to the monks of Kelso 
in pure alms, pro salute Jacobi Regis et Jeance Regince, which King James I. by 
a charter, dated 25th January 1431, confirmed by the charterly of Kelso. In the 
same year he also gave to the monastery of Melrose the third part of the lands 
of Wolfclyde in the barony of Culter and shire of Lanark, pro salute Domini Regis 
Jacobi, et Johanna: Regince, et per salute sui, &c, which donation was confirmed by 
King James I. in July 1431, as is shown by the charterly of 
Melrose. We give a description of the seal of Sir David Menzies 
appended to this document, as given in the Book of Scottish Seals, 
Bannatyne Club, p. 99. " Seal " of Sir David Meneris, Knight. 
A chief marked with rude lines, dexter and sinister bendwise, 
crossing each other Sigilluin David Meniris, appended to 
charter by Sir David Meneris of the lands of Wolchide, in the 

Seal of Chief Sir David the J 

iands Zi ?o MdrosfAbbeyf barony of Culter, county of Lanark, to the abbey of Melrose, 

I431 ' A.D. 143 1. — Melrose Charters. 

Tradition says the name of Wolfclyde arose from the last wolf slain on the 
Clyde having been run down there and killed by a Menzies. Wolfclyde is a 
farm on the north extremity of the parish, or old Menzies' barony of Culter, 
extending to the small section of Biggar parish, which there touches the Clyde, 
and contains an area of 1393 acres of arable land, sheltered by trees and 
plantations. A feature almost invariably found in the old possessions of the 
Menzies' is the remains of fine old trees planted by them. The river Clyde has few 
prettier reaches than from Wolfclyde to Medwyn efflux, and is 670 feet above 
sea-level at the point of the old Menzies' lands at Wolfclyde. These lands, as already 
stated, were given to the abbey of Melrose. This document reads as follows : — 

" In 143 1 Sir David the Maynheis, lord dominus of half the barony of Culter, 
gave for the soul's weal of King James and Queen Johanne, their predecessors 
and successors, and for the granter and his wife, his father, ' Sir John the Menzies,' 
and his mother, his predecessors and his successors, and all the faithfull departed 
this life, gave to the abbey of Melrose the whole lands of Wolchclide, with courts 
and court fees, and the causualties of the vassals." This was accompanied by 
a letter appointing " Richard Brown of Hartree and John, his son, baillies, to infeft 
the abbot and convent therein." The grant was confirmed by James I. in the 
year 1433, in virtue of which the abbey of Melrose possessed the lands of 
Wolfclyde until the Reformation, when, along with other possessions, instead 

a.d. 1433-1434.] SAINT DAVID MENZIES. log 

of being restored to the Menzies', they passed to the Earls of Haddington as 
Lords of Erection in 1640. — Upper Ward of Lanarkshire, p. 171, vol. i. 

Soon after these gifts of Sir David he was made Master of the Hospital of 
Saint Leonard, which honourable position he held for several years, and in 
connection with its transactions his name occurs several times in the records of 
the Scottish Exchequer. 

About half-a-mile eastward of the town of Lanark there formerly stood this 
Hospital of Saint Leonard, the date of its erection being uncertain ; but it has 
been said that it was founded by King Robert the Bruce. It was endowed by 
Robert III. with an annual sum of 40s. from the dues of the burgh of Lanark, 
to be paid to the Master of the Hospital ; these fees were allowed to the bailies 
in their accounts when paid to the Hospital of Saint Leonard, and acknowledged 
in the Chamberlain Rolls. Thus, in the year 1434, the sum of 40s. was paid to 
Sir David the Mengheis as Master of the Hospital by the town of Lanark. — 
Upper Ward of Lanarkshire, p. 283, vol. ii. 

This was allowed to the burgh by the Lords of Exchequer, and is thus recorded : — 

" David the Menzies, Master of the Hospital of St Leonard, near Lanark, 
charge Ferms by fue-charter, £6. The which sum is accounted for in payment 
to the said David the Menyheis, Magistro of the Hospital of the blessed Leonard, 
near to the said burgh, as requested, the annual sum of fourty solidos of the dews 
of the said burgh from the returns to the king, by virtue of old letters patent. The 
said David received, as heretofore, the accounted 40s., and for free discharge of 
the said Master, John Wincister received £4 — the which sum is acknowledged 
and such wise." — Exchequer Rolls, p. 581, vol. iv. 

Sir David, having entered the Church, soon gained a high name for his 
piety, gentleness, and charity ; these, with his high position as a Scottish chief, 
and his handsome gifts, procured for him the Mastership of Saint Leonard's, and 
in connection with which his name appears in the following records : — " Discharge 
to David the Menyheis, Master of the Hospital of Saint Leonard, .£3 ; and for the 
discharge of the said John Wincester, Preceptor of Lynclondane, received, as 
above accounted, £6, of which returns is the sum balanced by £9 in such equal." 
— Excliequer Rolls, p. 629, vol. iv. 

Having now become a servant of the Church, he soon allowed his religious 
impressions to get such a hold of him that he became a monk of the Cistercian 
order in the monastery of the abbey of Melrose, resigning the chiefship to his son. 

From about the time of the return of King James I. to Scotland with his 
queen, part of the lands of the Menzies' had been given up as a jointure to 
Jean, the queen. These lands consisted of Rawor, Glassy, Terhnore, and Fergyr, 
all lying near the village of Weem. These, for some reason or another, King 
James caused to be exchanged for the lands of Vogry in Edinburghshire, for 

no THE "RED & WHITE" BOOK OF MENZIES. [a.d. 1434-1435. 

which, Sir David consenting, he received back his Highland possessions. The king 
granted him a charter of exchange, which reads thus : — " Charter by King James 
the First to David Menzies, Knight, of the lands of Rawor, Glassy, Terlmore, and 
Fergyr, lying in the " Abthnia " of Dull in the shire of Perth, in excambion of the 
barony of Vogry in the shire of Edinburgh, which belonged to the said David 
by right of inheritance. Dated at Stirling, 14th April, 30th year of the king's 
reign," 1435. — From Castle Menzies Charters, No. 19. This was followed up by 
another instrument from the queen, wherein she gives up any right to the lands 
of Dull she may have obtained, dated 20th day of April 1435, as follows : — 

" Charter by Jean, Queen of King James I. — Jehan, be ye grace of God, 
Qwein of Scotland, to all and sindre to qwas knawlegis thir present letters sal 
cum greting. Witt ye that nochtwythstanding that my lord ye kyng, wyth the 
assent of his thre estates, has grantid to vs the landis of the Abthane of Dull, 
lyand wythin shiredom of Perth, in owr dowery of the qwilkis as ye [knaw] we 
haf takyn nowther estat no sesing ; wythin the quilk lands my said lord has enfeft 
owr wel-belufit David Menzeis of Weme, knight, in landis of Trelemor, Fergir, 
Glassy, Rawer, in fre barony, the quilk enfeftment in als fer as belangis, or may 
belang vs, we ratefi and aprovis, and will that the said landis wyth thair appertin- 
entis of the quilk the said David is infeft be nocht comprehendit in owr said 
dowery, na that the stat no sesine that we sail tak tharof turn the said David no 
his ayris to ony hurt or preiudice in ony maner in tyme to cum. In witness of the 
[which] thing to thir presintis we haf made put owr sell, at Perth, the xxth day of 
the month of Aprill, the yer of grace ane thowsand four hunder thretty and fyf 
yeris, and of the reing of the said my Lord xxxth yer." — Transumpt of 1439, 
from Charter Room of Castle Menzies, No. 20. 

This act of consideration on the part of the Queen to Sir David Menzies 
is a proof of the high esteem in which he was held at Court, by the restoration 
of Dull, with full power of lordship being restored to himself and heirs. The 
following is also a precept from King James I. to Sir David the Menzies : — 

" Precept of Sasine under the Great Seal by King James the First, enjoining 
his bailie, David de Menzies of Weme, knight, to give sasine to Jean, the king's 
' most beloved consort,' of the lands of the Abthanage of Dull, excepting the lands 
of Frelemor, Felegir, Glasse, and Rawer, which he himself held by letters from the 
king. Dated at Stirling, 24th April, 30th year of the king's reign" [1435]. — 
Also a Transumpt of 1439, from the Charter Room of Castle Menzies, No. 21. 

It will be observed that King James designates Sir David as " his bailie." He 
would thereby act for the king in all matters of justice in the district of the Abthane 
of Dull, as Abbot and Thane, thereby acknowledging him as the Abthane, thus 
vesting him with the power of justice in all matters, even to that of life and death. 

The village of Dull stands in the vale, or Appin na Meinerich, about 4 miles 
















































a.d. 1435-1440.] SAINT DAVID MENZIES. in 

west from Castle Menzies. In the centre of the village is an ancient stone socket, 
circular in shape, from the centre of which stands upright the ancient weather-worn 
Cross of Dull. This is all that remains of the three crosses which belonged to 
the ancient Menzies' college and church, afterwards, as tradition says, a monastery, 
which edifice can still be traced by the remains of its foundations in one of the 
fields there. It was of a peculiar character, called an abthanery — only two others 
of which existed in Scotland — and conferred on Dull the right of sanctuary similar 
to that of Holyrood. The ancient church of Dull is thought to be incorporated in 
the present parish church building, the walls of which are very thick. The ancient 
edifice stands at the west end of the clachan of Dull, and is surrounded by one 
of the old burial-places of the Menzies', and was under the supervision of Saint 
David Menzies as the Abthane or Abbot of Dull and the director of the Kirk o' 
Weem — under which Presbytery Dull is. 

In the latter end of his days Sir David gave himself up wholly to a religious 
life, and in the year 1438 he confirmed a previous charter granted to the Abbey 
of Dunfermline of the lands of Luscer-Evioth, &c, which was confirmed on the 
22nd of May 1438, with consent of John Menzies, his son and heir. His name is 
spelt in this charter John de Mengues. We also find that King James II. renewed 
or gave the directorship of the Kirk of Weem to Sir David the Menzies, who was 
presented to the ministry of the church of Weem on the 23rd October 1440 — a 
copy of which is thus mentioned in the old inventory: — 

" Presentation by King James the Second of David Menzeis to the directory 
of the Kirk of Weyme, 23rd October 1440. — Inventory of 1656. The original 
is in the Charter Room of Castle Menzies, No. 22. 

It is important to know that this " Auld Kirk o' Weem " is still to the 
fore, and still bears the name of " Saint David's Kirk." It would appear to be 
much the same as in his time, and is very well built — the walls being about 4 feet 
thick, of slate whinstone, which is very hard and peculiar to the district : 
Castle Menzies being built of the same stone, and which time seems to have 
very little effect upon. The structure has consisted of an aisle running east 
and west, with an off-set towards the north, where the altar is said to have stood, 
thus presenting the appearance of a small nave and choir with one pseudo- 
transept at right angles to them. From east to west the kirk is about 70 feet 
long by about 40 feet north and south. The choir is about 20 feet wide. The 
only alteration that seems to have been made on the kirk was on the occasion 
of the marriage of Sir Alexander the Menzies with Lady Campbell, to com- 
memorate which the lintel above the door has sculptured upon it a marriage 
escutcheon or shield of the Menzies', halved with that of Campbell, in token 
of marriage. In the interior of the kirk there are two square recesses 
in the wall, which have evidently been used in the time of Saint David Menzies 

ii2 THE "RED &■> WHITE" BOOK OF MENZIES. [a.d. 1440. 

as " host boxes " or ambries, for the keeping of " The Host," or " the Holy 
Communion Wafer." These recesses are about 1 foot square, and have at 
one time had doors — one of them having the • initial letters of Saint David 
Menzies sculptured out of the stone. On the left upright lintel, in its centre, is 
the letter (D) cut out with a circular ring around it, and on the right lintel is 
the letter (M) cut in the same way, clearly indicating that Sir David Menzies 
had this little press under his own keeping. There is also a very fine altar 
within the church, which is in a good state of preservation. 

The Menzies Altar now stands against the north-east wall of " St David 
Menzies' Kirk " at Weem, although it would seem to have stood against the 
west gable facing towards the east window. The object in the design of the 
altar is of the finest possible conception, and may have been part of the altar 
of the Mensuetus, the 17th Menzies, who flourished about A.D. 62, or of Mainus the 
33rd Menzies, who flourished 900, in whose life it is referred to as at Dull, and 
Saint David himself may have made use of some of the sculptured stones 
belonging to the altar at Dull. It was about his time, or shortly before, that 
its college and seat of learning was dismantled and transferred to Saint Andrews, 
and the altar, in the time of St David, must have been in the first stages of decay. 
He, therefore, may have taken away the sculptured stones — which had formed part 
of the ancient altar of his ancestors — to Weem, and there incorporated them with 
other sculptured works, so as to make the one grand altar as it now stands. By a 
little careful examination, any one can see that some of its stones are exceedingly 
old. We should say the two top angles, kneeling figures, cherubims, and the two 
side supporters, are about the oldest, especially the two large side figures, which are 
almost life-size, and may have belonged to the church of Titlli (Dull), founded by 
Saint David's great ancestor Mansuetus about the year A.D. 62-89. 

The altar is about 16 feet high and about 12 feet broad over all. The 
slab of the altar is recessed, with a projection beyond the line of the side 
pillars. It stands about 4 feet from the floor, being supported by four tapering 
pilasters embellished with a floral design of The Ash in relief. Between the 
pilasters are three panels, each surrounded by sculptured scrolls in strong 
relief. Over the altar-slab expands a gracefully curved arch, supported by 
two stone piers with a pillar to the front of each, the capitals of which are 
decorated with Scotch thistles ; these support the thrust of the arch, the 
centre keystone of which has a sculptured figure of an angel, bending out- 
ward, holding a tablet, upon which is the cross entwined with the monogram 
A.M.M.C.S. On the right side of the altar stands one of the ancient sculptured 
figures, almost life-size, representing one of the early Christian fathers or 
missionaries, probably Mensuetus, the 17th Menzies, who in his left hand holds 
the open Scriptures ; upon its pages, which are turned outwards, and is carved 

"The Menzies Altar." 

Showing Funeral Escutcheons of deceased Lady Menzies. 

i. Margaret Lindsay, daughter of Lord of Edzel — Showing Lindsay Arms. She died about 1502. 

2. Christian Gordon, " Countess, ' daughter of Earl of Huntly, died 1525— Showing Gordon Arms. 

3. Barbara Stewart, "Countess," daughter of Earl of Athole, died 1587 — Showing Stewart Arms. 

4. Margaret Campbell, daughter of Glenurchy, died 1598 — Showing branch Campbell Arms. 

5. Elizabeth Forrester, daughter of Lord of Carden, died 1613— Showing Forrester Arms. 

6. Cristian Campbell, daughter of Lord of " lovers," she died about 1633 — Showing branch Campbell Arms. 

7. Centre Panel with Inscription to the Memory of Sir Alexander Menzies, 1st Baronet, and his Ancestors. Obiit 1694. 

a.d. 1440-1449.] SAINT DAVID MENZIES. 113 

QVID. QVID. FIT. SINE. PINDE. EST. PACC. ATV. M., or, translated, 
" Verily, verily, faith will bring peace." His left foot is resting upon a human 
skull ; his right arm leans on an arm of the cross, emblematical of his preaching 
of life through the death of Christ, by which faith triumphs over death. The 
figure is clothed with skins, and stands on a pedestal of later date, which has 
in its centre panel a branch of the mountain ash, the badge of the Clan 
Menzies. Over the head of the preacher is a richly-carved canopy, upon the 
top of which is the figure of a rude Highlander kneeling in the attitude of 
prayer before an altar ; on the other side of which is the figure of an angel 
blowing a trumpet towards the Highlander, emblematical of the awakening 
trump of the spirit. This figure is resting upon one of the sides of the pedi- 
ment, which is surmounted with a tablet half-circular on the top, on the face 
of which is carved a figure symbolical of the Creator ; it is also thought to be 
the figure of Saint David. On the left side of the altar there is a figure, almost 
life-size, of a woman holding a child in her arms with another by her side, 
emblematical that the woman and children had the goodness of Christ taught 
them by the ancient Menzies preachers, and also typical of charity. 

These figures are expressively carved for their time. The pedestal of the 
woman is similar to that of the companion figure of the preacher. Over her head 
is also an elegantly-carved canopy, upon the top of which is the figure of a 
Menzies Culdee, or Christian missionary, kneeling before the altar, in the attitude 
of prayer, facing towards the Highlander. On the side of the pediment facing 
the Culdee is another angel sounding a trumpet towards him. From it comes 
the words VIEV. & VENITE. A.D. IVDI., or, " Have power, and preach of the 
death of Christ"; also representing the gift from on high of the inspiration of 
Christ. Under the projecting cornice, which runs horizontally along the whole 
structure upon which these altars and figures rest, on each side, in the spandrells 
between the arch and the cornice, is a cherubim, holding in their hands wreaths or 
crowns of reward for those who follow in the footsteps of Christ. Within the 
wreath on the left is inscribed— GLORIA DEO PAX HC MINIBUS: "Glory 
to God and peace to man." Within the wreath on the right is — TRIVNI DEO 
GLORIA : or, " To the three in one God be glory "• — the whole forming one of the 
finest balanced works of the kind to be found anywhere. The conception or 
re-arrangement of such a work could only have been thought out by such a mind 
as that of Saint David Menzies. The armorial portions of the altar at its back, 
inside the pediment on the front and on the sides of the arch, are of a later date. 

The lands of Coulter being transferred into other hands during the time 
Saint David was in the monastery of Melrose, his son, Sir John, in 1449, applied 
and had them relieved, as will be seen by the following : — 

"At Edinburgh, 29th January 1449, James II. The king having received 

ii 4 THE "RED &•» WHITE" BOOK OF MENZIES. [a.d. 1449. 

from the hand of Johannis Menzeis of Enouch, son and heir of ' D. David 
Menzeis,' Monk of the Royal Monastery of Melrose, the sum of .£100 for the 
redemption of the one-half the lands, with villa or castle, and lands of Cultre in 
the shire of Lanark, which lands the said David and John disposed in ward to 
Roberto de Levingstone, burgess of Linlithqw, and the said Robert, by letters of 
reversion, gives back for the same sum, continuously ' and for ever ' surrenders 
' these lands,' given under the Seal, which is confirmed against the said Robert 
in the Parliament held at Edinburgh, 21st January 1449, against whom a mortal 
sentence for the whole sum the king continues. The which sum, as royal tenant 
without payment, is completely given to David, his heirs, executors, and assignees 
as may from him separate, also the same y^ part of land of his, and to his heritably 
descending the said alienated property freed, and themselves, David and John, 
put in possession under the Crown as a reward." — Reg. Great Seal, p. 72. 

It was in this year (1449) that Sir David the Menzies died, but the memory 
of his good life, through the whole of which his piety and kindness to the poor 
made him the beloved of all classes of the people in the region of Strath Tay, 
Dull and Weem, where he is known as the good " Saint David." His name is 
inseparably connected with the Rock of Weem. One of the great attractions to 
visitors here is the spring of pure water flowing out of a rent high up in the rock, 
and trickles into a large stone basin or trough hewn out of the solid stone, known 
as " Saint David's Well." Above this well rises almost vertically ledges of solid rock, 
against the sides of which leans a rude slab of stone with a cross sculptured in 
relief upon it, with its lower end resting in the water upon the bottom of the 
well. From the Holy Well of Saint David a magnificent view of the surrounding 
country can be had. In after years the well was used by the Romish clergy 
as one of those ancient " wishing wells," into which the devotees used to drop 
money or valuables and invoke the blessing of the patron saint, providing a rich 
mine to the priests of Rome. The position occupied by the well is altogether 
most romantic, and one which would easily stir up the superstitious feelings of the 
ignorant devotees. The rent in the rock — from where the water, cool and bright, 
percolates through into the well — is said to have been the entrance into a large 
cave capable of accommodating about 50 people, but is now blocked up ; others 
say that at one time immense rocks overhung the well, thereby forming the cave, 
wherein Saint David Menzies exercised his devotions. These, however, have 
evidently given way in course of time, and, rolling down the sides of Weem Rock, 
have left the well open in front, with a considerable ledge round it. The ground 
in front of the well was, it is said, dug up about 1870, when a quantity of bones 
was discovered. The rock, doubtless, got its name from this cave — the meaning 
of Weem in the Gaelic being " a cave." Till recently the well was considered to 
have healing and other properties. It may be reached by the pathway leading 

a.d. 1449.] SAINT DAVID MENZIES. 115 

off the main road at Saint David's auld kirk, by a climb up a steep but safe path. 
It is recorded that when the well was cleaned out some half-century ago, coins of 
various value were found in it, which had escaped the ecclesiastics when they 
searched for the oblations of the devotees. The priests took good care to instruct, 
as to the healing virtues likely to be effected, according to the value of the 
sacred donations dropped into the well. Tradition says that Sir David, our saint, 
had a chapel on a shelf of the Rock of Weem which is still called Cratg-an-f 
sliapail, or the Chapel Rock, where, it is said, this building stood. There are also 
traces of Saint David on the opposite side of the river Tay, on what was then his 
own lands, on which was held Fell Daidh, or Saint David's fair, before it was 
transferred to Kenmore. There was also a burying-place, which bore his name 
in Gaelic, Cill Daidh, or " Kildavid," the burial-place of David. The Rock of 
Weem and hill rises about 1700 feet above sea-level, and about 1300 feet above 
the " Vale of Menzies," or Strathtay. 

Sir David the Menzies, at the time of his death in 1449, must have been 
about 72 years of age, as he is thought to have been born about 1 377. He had 
two sons and one daughter, He left, by his first wife — Lady Marjory Sinclair, 
sister of Henry, Earl of Orkney — a son. 

1st. JOHN THE Menzies, who succeeded him as chief and inherited his 
possessions. Sir David married secondly a lady whose name was Helen, as is 
to be seen from his donation to the monastery of Dunfermline. Sir David 
left another son, " Cudbert," but of which of the marriages is uncertain. 

2nd. Cudbert Menzies got a feu-grant of part of the barony of Enach 
from John, his brother ; and it is reckoned that from him the clan branch of 
the Menzies' of Enach and others in Dumfriesshire were descended. In 1472 
Cudbert Menzies granted a reversion of the lands of Auchintinsel and Drumcrule 
in the barony of Enach to Sir John the " Megnes," his brother-german. 

3rd. Catherine Menzies, who married Alano of Erskyne, and had a grant 
of the lands of Vogry, of which marriage there seems to have been no issue, 
as these lands returned to Sir David, and were given to the queen of James I. 
as part of her dowry. 


Chieftain Gilbert Menzies, who held the loch and island of " Kandars," 
lying at " Colblain," ancestor of the Menzies' of Pitfodels. He fought at the battle 
of Harlaw, and was afterwards made Lord Provost of Aberdeen, which the records 
show he held from 1425 to 1439. He also sat in the Scottish Parliaments held 
by James II. at Edinburgh, 24th January 1449, and also at Stirling on the 
4th April 1449 ; in both he represented the city of Aberdeen. 

David Menzies, also a leading man of Aberdeen : he sat in the Parliament of 

James I., held at Perth on the nth March 1425, as the representative of Aberdeen. 

I 2 

Cbief Sir 3obn tbe " fll>en3bers," 40tb from flDa^nua, 
tbe 9tb Baron of fll>en3ies. 

Surnamed " The Admirable." 
armour-bearer to king james the first. 

A.D. 1 397-1467. 

SIR JOHN THE MENZIES, on the death of his father Sir David the 
Menzies, succeeded to all his vast possessions, for which he had received 
grants from the Crown. A great part of these had been conveyed to 
him by his father during his lifetime. These lands consisted of the north 
and west sides of Loch Tay, of which were Eddiramuky, on its north-west side ; 
the lands of Merynche, a few miles farther west, and marching with those of 
Edramuckie. He also received the Menzies Castle of Finlarig for his residence, 
with the lands of Glenlochy, Glenlyon, and the large tract of country known as 
Mamlorn. He ultimately received the whole of Dissawer, or the entire north 
bank or " sunny side " of Loch Tay. He also held the office of Toicchderety. 
The Tosisich was the office of judge, first held and exercised by the ancient 
Scottish kings, and then by such Highland chiefs as the Menzies', who had 
been made barons of lands by the kings, and held by them in hereditary right 
and jurisdiction. With the office went the lands of Fornachy, now Fearnan, 
which lie at the north-east end of Loch Tay, and lead to Glenlyon and For- 
tingall. Near this was a " mote hill," or hanging mound, called Tom-na-Croich, 
which could be plainly seen in 1850, near the river end of the house of Mr 
Alexander Menzies, who called his house after it. A part of the mound was 
taken away when the house was built, but there still remained a portion, one 
side being damaged. When the next house was built, it took away what 
remained completely, and only the name Tom-na-Croich remains, which gives 
the place its name. It was here that the chief Sir John dispensed justice, as 
his ancestors had done, to the clansmen and other Highlanders of their country. 
Joining the foregoing, Sir John got the lands of Goulcntyne, in the Abthane of 
Dull, the Menzies' castle and lands of Grandtully. His father also gave him 

a.d. 1421-1440.] THE ADMIRABLE CHIEF. 117 

in 143 1 the lands of Enoch in Dumfriesshire. These, with others in the time 
of his father, made him a young man of considerable consequence. We find 
him, on the 14th August 142 1, witness to a charter by Malcolm Drummond of 
Couchrage, on the occasion of the marriage of his sister to Donald, son of 
Gilbert, &c. To this document his name is appended : " John Menzhers, 
Esquire." This is in the charter chest of the Duke of Athole. — Hist. M.S., 
p. 706, vol. vii. ; Book of Garth and Glenlyon, p. 51. 

On the 14th of April 1435, Sir John Menzies had from his father Sir David 
a grant of the lands of Culter in Lanarkshire. We here give an extract of 
this document from the Charter Room of Castle Menzies. 

"No. 18. Charter by King James the First to John Meignes, his Majesty's 
armour-bearer, of the lands of half of the barony of Cultyr, with the donation 
of the church thereof, in the shire of Lanark, which had been resigned by 
David de Meignes, father of the said John, into the hands of the king at 
Perth : To be held by him and his heirs for rendering to the king the service 
used and wont. The liferent of the lands is reserved to the said David and 
terce to his spouse on his decease. Dated at Streinlyne, 14th April, 30th year 
of the king's reign [1435]. The witnesses are — John Forrester of Corstorphin, 
knight, the King's Chamberlain ; Mr William Foulis, Archdeacon of St Andrews, 
Keeper of the Privy Seal ; William de Crechton, knight, Master of the King's 
Household ; and Mr John Wincestre, Provost of Lincluden." — Transumpt 
of 1439. 

It will be observed that King James I. speaks of Sir John as being 
his "armour-bearer." This- office to the Scottish kings was held for several 
generations by the eldest sons of the chiefs of Clan Menzies, and consequently 
they were early knighted as an accompaniment of that honourable post. This 
is the last charter granted by King James I., to or connected with the Menzies', 
before his assassination at Perth. It shows the confidential and trusted rela- 
tionship that existed between Sir John, his father Sir David, and the king. 

In the year 1440 Sir David, the father of Sir John the Menzies, prac- 
tically gave over to him the whole estate and the chieftainship, as he had 
by that time given himself over to the Church altogether, and became a monk, 
as will be seen from the following : — 

" Charter by King James the Second to John Menzeis, son and heir of 
David Menzeis, knight, and monk of the monastery of Melrose, of the lands 
and barony of Raware, the lands of Weym, the lands of Abirfallibeg, the 
lands of Cumrey, the lands of the thanage of Crennych in the shire of Perth 
and Earldom of Athole, which had been personally resigned by the said 
David into the king's hands at Edinburgh. The liferent of the lands is 
reserved for the said David during his life. Dated at Edinburgh, 21st January 


THE "RED &> WHITE" BOOK OF MENZIES. [a.d. 1440-1448. 

1440. The witnesses are : — William, Lord Crechtoun, Chancellor ; Andro de 
Livingstone of Calelare ; John de . . . , William de Crocistoun, knights ; 
and Richard Crag, Vicar of Donde, the King's Clerk." 

The above is in the Charter Room at Castle Menzies, No. 18. By it Sir 
John the Menzies was now installed in full power as chief of Clan Menzies, with 
possession of the estates of Menzies, the lands of Weem and Aberfeldy. Well 
may the poet Millar sing of Weem, its rock, and Aberfeldy on the opposite 
bank of the River Tay, with its Falls of Moness, or Menzies Falls. A finer 
or more beautiful district there is scarcely to be found in Scotland. This is 
what the poet says : — 

"Still fondly could the tireless eye 
Delighted gaze on tower and tree, 
Grey crag o' Weem, and hills that kiss the 

And though, fair Tay, thus gliding by 
In stately, placid majesty, 
Attaining so thy lullaby. 
To louder note as wanes the day ! 
Inviting up the shortening way, 
Fair Aberfeldy brightly gay 

With evening's gilding, tranquil sight ! 
How slow her blue smoke floats away! 
How dreamy seems her walls so white ! 
And dark Moness, for still the day 
With scarcely lessened lustre shines. 
Hail, hail, ye grim rocks reft and grey, 
Ye woful Birks, ye dismal pines, 
Thou roaring stream that twines 
Unseen and sightless, far below, 
Like spirit doomed, that pauseless pines." 

Some time prior to 1449, the Stewarts received a feu or lease of the lands 
of Grandtully, through marriage, it is thought, of the Menzies'. The first 
record we find in this connection is in 1449, where Sir John the Menzies is 
a witness in an agreement between William, Abbot of Cupar, and Thomas 
Stewart of Grandtully, concerning the marches of Murtly and Kyntully (Grand- 
tully), 10th July 1449, to which are the names (as witnesses) subscribed of 
"Johannes Menyheis de la Wemys, Augusius Menyheis, Johannes Menyheis." — 
Red Book of Grandtully, pp. 14, 15. 

Another reason assigned for the loss to the Menzies' of the lands of Grandtully 
was the relationship which existed between William, Earl of Douglas (then all- 
powerful in Scotland), and Thomas Stewart, whose father had only received these 
lands by the Douglases about 1437 ; William, the 8th Earl of Douglas, having, 
in 1445, by his artifices with King James II., succeeded in driving the Chancellor 
Crichton from office, with Livingston his colleague, and had their estates forfeited 
as rebels. In 1446 he was created Lieutenant-General of Scotland, when he 
became all-powerful. In 1448, with an army of Scots, among whom were Clan 
Menzies, under Sir John the Menzies, he defeated the English at the battle of 
Sark, after which the Scots ravished their country as far as Newcastle. The 
power of Douglas at this time was only equalled by his desire to get more. 
Through his influence with the king Sir John the Menzies was obliged to resign 

a.d. 1449-1451.] THE ADMIRABLE CHIEF. 119 

his lands near the Church of Culter, the record of which reads thus : — " At 
Linlithgow, loth Oct. 1449, James II. The king concedes to William, Earl 
of Douglas, the lands extending and lying near the church of the parish of Cultre 
outside the burgh of the same ; in the place of which he gives the patronage of 
the said church and parish to John the Menzies of Enach by alternate exchange, 
for which heritable consideration the said John resigned." — Reg. Great Seal, 
p. 67. 

Sir John the Menzies had married early in life Janet Carruthers, daughter of 
Carruthers of Holmains : Nisbet says Mr George Crawford had the voucher of 
this marriage. Sir John's eldest son (George) appears to have come of age about 
this time, and had married Elizabeth, daughter of Duncanson, or Robertson of 
Struan. He received a charter from his father (Sir John) granting him the 
lands of Morenish at the west end of Loch Tay. This grant was made at Stirling 
on the 22nd of July 1450 in favour of George Menzies and his wife, proceeding 
upon Sir John (his father)'s resignation. This charter is thus recorded : — 

"At Stirling, 22nd July 1450, James II. The king concedes to George 
Menzeis, son and heir-apparent of Sir John the Menzeis of Weem, and Elizabeth, 
his wife, daughter of Roberti Duncani, the lands of Morniche in the shire of 
Perth, which the said John personally resigns. To be held by the said George 
and Elizabeth, and the same to either during life, and heritably to those males 
begotten between them legitimately of their bodies, which failing, to the nearest 
heirs-male of the said John ' Menzeis,' whatsomever, reserving the free possession 
of the said lands of David Menzeis, deceased, to the said John ' Menzeis.' " — Reg. 
Great Seal, p. 87, vol. iv. 

James II., being under age on the death of his father, the turbulent barons 
of Scotland, by their feuds and dissensions, brought the country into a state of 
anarchy, so much so that the authority of the king was defied by many of the 
nobility. One of these was William, Earl of Douglas, who was Lieutenant- 
General of Scotland, and from whom the king and country had suffered much. The 
king, without depriving him of his high office, withdrew from him his countenance, 
and attached a large number of others to his cause. Douglas, feeling his power 
on the wane, determined to leave the country on a visit to the Pope, and to make 
some stay in England, France, and Rome. His train consisted of a number of 
knights and chiefs, one of whom was Sir John the Menzies. For the purpose of 
travelling through England they got a safe-conduct granted by Henry VI., King 
of England, which is as follows: — "23rd April 145 1. John Menzeis — safe-conduct 
for a year with William, Earl of Douglas, and others. Warrant to the chancellor 
for a safe-conduct for ' on hoole yere ' to William, Earl Douglas, as in a bill 
enclosed, with 100 persons, certan 'herein,' viz., Sir James of Dowglas, Knight; 
Archibald of Dowglas of Murrawe, Hewe of Dowglas, Earl of Ormond, Sir 

120 THE "RED & WHITE" BOOK OF MENZIES. [a.d. 1451. 

Alexander Hume of that Ilk, Knight ; James, Lord Hamylton, Knight ; Sir 
William Meldrum, Knight ; William of Lawdre of Halton, Thomas of Cranstone 
of that Ilk, Andrew Ker of Aldtoneburn, James of Dowglas of Ralston, Knight ; 
John Rosse, Knight, George of Hoppringill, Alexander of Hoppringill, David 
Hoppringill, William Balye, George of Haliburton, Marc of Haliburton, Alane 
of Lawdre, Charles of Murrafe, Thomas Bell, Thomas Grahame, James of Dunbar, 
Robert Heris, William Grierson, JOHN THE Menzeis, James Dowglas, John of 
Haliburton, Maister Adam of Auchinlek, Maister John Clerc, Thomas Ker, James 
Ker." — Cat. Docs, re Scot., p. 250, vol. iv. 

Upon the receipt of this passport, Douglas began to make every preparation 
to display his power with all pomp in the foreign countries through which he 
would pass to attend the great jubilee at Rome. He also received a grant from 
King James II. of a safe-conduct, of which there is also a long entry in the 
Exchequer Rolls of Scotland, recording the grant of this safe-conduct to Douglas, 
Sir John the Menzies and others, as follows. Abridged translation : — " Safe- 
conduct for Earl Douglas and others, 12 May 1451. — The king by these patents 
grants for one year's duration, subscribed a safe and secure conduct for the protec- 
tion and defence of his envoys ; " here follows a long list of names, among which is 
the name of " John Menzies," and a long entry. — Rotiili Scotice, p 346, vol. ii. 

Sir John the Menzies accompanied the Earl of Douglas to Flanders, from 
thence to Paris ; and there at the Court of France they were received with great 
distinction. They then proceeded to visit the Supreme Pontiff during the brilliant 
season of the jubilee. Their visit appears to have astonished the polite and 
learned Italians, " as much by its foreign novelty as by its barbaric pomp." — 
Tytler's Scotland. From this it would seem that the Highland chiefs had appeared 
in their national garb (the Highland dress). We can imagine Chief Sir John the 
Menzies in his full dress — red and white tartan — with his pipers and Highland 
attendants ; Grahame in his dark green with white lines checking ; and Ross 
with his tartan of red ground with green and dark blue checks. The picturesque 
" kilt " must have astonished the Romans as much as if some northern Greeks had 
invaded them. Their return was, however, hastened by disturbances at home. 

On the return of Sir John the Menzies he had the greater part of his estates 
created into one large barony under the title of the Barony of Weem. The 
following is a copy of this document from the Charter Room of Castle Menzies, 
No. 24 : — " Charter by King James the Second to John Menzies of Ennach of 
the lands of Weme, Abbirfallybeg, Glassy, the lands of the thanage of Crannyk, 
&c, in the shire of Perth, in one free barony ; also the office of ' teschondorouship ' 
of Artholony, which the said John had personally resigned into the king's hands, 
Edinburgh, to be erected into one free and entire barony, to be called the Barony 
of Weme. To be held by the said John and his heirs, doing yearly three suits 

a.d. 1451-1464.] THE ADMIRABLE CHIEF. 121 

at Perth, at the three chief courts of the shire of Perth. Dated at Edinburgh, 
6th June 1451. The witnesses are: William, Bishop of Glasgow; William, Lord 
Creichtoune ; William, Lord Somervile ; Alexander, Lord Montgomery ; Patrick, 
Lord Glammys, Master of the King's Household ; Andrew, Abbot of Melrose, 
the king's confessor and treasurer ; William de Edmondstoune of Collodin ; John 
Logane of Lestalryk, George Campbell of Loudoune, Knights ; Masters John 
Arous, Archdean of Glasgow, and George de Sheriswod, rector of Cultir, the 
king's clerk." 

Sir John the Menzies, like his father, was a man with pronounced religious 
tendencies. He is also said to have been one of the pastors of the Auld Kirk 
o' Weem, where there is still the stone press in the wall where he kept " The 
Host," or the Holy Sacrament Wafer, on the sides of which his initials are cut 
out in the stone <jj> John <jvr> Menzies. In connection with the Kirk o' Weem, 

he received with the patronage the rectorship of the church from the Earl of 
Athole, as acting for King James, in the following charter, dated 24th January 
1463 :— 

" Charter by John, Earl of Athole, to John Menzeis of Weym, of the 
patronage of the Church of Weym, the presentation to the rectory of the said 
church, and the glebe thereof: To be held of the Earl and his heirs. Dated 
at Edinburgh, 24th January 1463. The witnesses are: — Archibald, Abbot of 
the monastery of the Holy Rood of Edinburgh ; Mr James Lindesay, Provost 
of the Collegiate Church of Lincluden, Keeper of the Privy Seal ; James Stewart 
of Vchterhouse, brother of the Earl, and others." — Charter Room of Castle Menzies, 
No. 25. 

Immediately after this was granted, it may be inferred that the Earl was 
not satisfied, being shifty about the matter, and wanted to have privileges 
connected with the Auld Kirk o' Weem which he had no right to. Sir John 
the Menzies, however, stuck to his purpose, maintaining his rights, and obliged 
the Earl to get confirmation by charter under the Great Seal of Scotland, a copy 
of which is in the Charter Room of Castle Menzies, as under : — 

" No. 26. Transumpt of an obligation by John, Earl of Athole, to John 
Menzies, to procure a charter of confirmation of the preceding charter of the 
patronage of Weem, dated the 27th February 1463." This was confirmed by 
charter, under the Great Seal of King James III., dated last day of February 
1453. But the copy as under, in the Charter Room of Castle Menzies, is a 
year later : — 

" No. 27. Charter of confirmation by King James III., in favour of John 
Menzies of Weme, of the gift of the patronage of Weme, as in No. 26, dated at 
Edinburgh, last day of February 1464." The witnesses are : — " James, Bishop 
of St Andrews ; Archibald, Abbot of the monastery of the Holy Rood ; 

122 THE "RED &r> WHITE" BOOK OF MENZIES. [a.d. 1467. 

Patrick, Lord de Graham ; Gilbert, Lord Kennedy ; Master James Lindesay 

; Archibald de Quhitelaw, Archdeacon of Moray, the King's 


From the time of Sir John's visit to Rome, he appears to have left the 
responsibilities of chief to his son Angus Menzies, as his eldest remaining 
son, George Menzies, appears to have died in early life, leaving no issue. 
Sir John, therefore, lived a peaceful and religious life as the Rector of the 
Auld Kirk o' Weem. 

The last record of Sir John the Menzies we have, is where he appears in 
connection with the transfer of some lands by the Earl of Athole — the charter 
of which is in the possession of the present Duke — to which is appended his name 
as a witness, along with other two of his 60ns — " John Menzies of Weme, John 
Menzies of Comrie, Robert Menzies of Innercrean. Dated at Perth, 6th September 
1467." — yth M.S.G. Report, p. 709, 

Sir John the Menzies, surnamed " The Admirable," in old Gaelic Neil Bvek, 
— meaning admirable, majestic, or handsome — died about the end of the year 
1467, having been born about 1397, and was therefore about 70 years old. He 
had by his wife Janet Carruthers four sons and a daughter — 

1st. George Menzies, who married the daughter of the chief of the Robertsons, 
but died in early life without issue. 

2nd. Angus Menzies, who acted as chief on his father's resignation for the 

3rd. Robert Menzies, who got the lands of Innercrean and afterwards became 

4th. John Menzies, who got the lands of Comrie, from whom descend one 
of the Comrie branches of the clan. Nisbet says he was also the ancestor of the 
Menzies' of Culterallers, and got a grant of Culterallers from Sir Robert Menzies, 
his brother, in 15 10. 

1st. Mariote Menzies, who married Cuthbert Murry of Cockpool, nth Earl 
of Annandale, who had a charter granted him, along with Mariote Menzies, his 
wife, of the lands of Wachquhat in Annandale. By Mariote Menzies he had two 
sons — 1st. Sir John, who died early ; and 2nd. Mungo Murry, served heir 1st March 
1459-60, and who died 1493. — Douglas Peerage, p. 67. 


ANDREW Menzeis, who sat in the Parliament of James II., held at Edinburgh, 
6th March 1457, as the representative of Inverness. 

ALEXANDER MENZIES, who sat as the representative of the city of Aberdeen 

A.D. I4S4-I483-] 



in the Parliament of James III., held at Edinburgh, 12th January 1468. He was 
also chosen as " Auditor of Complaint" in 1482 and 1483. — Acts of Par., Scot. 

ANDREW MENZIES, who was Lord Provost of Aberdeen from 1454 to 1461, 
and who was a witness to a charter granted by James Murray to the Parish of 
Fyve, 1458. 

CHIEFTIAN ALEXANDER MENZIES, Baron of Fortingal. He was the son of 
Sir Alexander, the brother of John the 43rd — see p. 88 ; Within. His barony of 
Fortingall was the afterwards sub-baronies of Garth, Rannoch, Struan, Strath- 
tummel, and Bolfracks, with the lands of Lassintullich, Tullcroskie or Crossmount, 
Kynachan, and the town of Lynnoch. — Robertson's Earldom of A thole. Also in 
his barony was the ancient church of the ecclesiastical Menzies' of Fortingall. A 
relic of them, and their early Celtic Christian church still remains which was in use 
in his time. It is the Celtic Menzies Bell of Fortingall, given under. He had an 
only daughter Janet, who married Duncan Stewart — see p. 138. — Tran. Soc. Antiq. 
Scot., p. 105, vol. 14. 


Chief Sir Hngus tbe " flDen^eis," 47tb from flDapnus, 
anb tbe lOtb Baron of flDen3ies. 

A.D. 1430- 1498. 

CHIEF SIR ANGUS THE MENZIES, the second son of Sir John the 
Menzies, became the heir of Menzies on the death of his elder brother 
George, who died in early life, shortly after his marriage with the 
daughter of the chief of the Robertsons, of which marriage he left 
no issue. Angus, therefore, as the heir, received from his father in his lifetime, 
on his withdrawing from the chiefship to become Rector of the Kirk o' Weem, 
the grant of the castle and lands of Comrie and barony of the same ; also the 
Isle of Loch Tay, with the ancient Menzies castle and stronghold on that island, 
together with the small keep of " Belloch," including all the lands on the east end 
of Loch Tay. Likewise he got back the lands of Grandtully, which his father 
had been dispossessed of through the influence of the then all-powerful Douglas, 
about 1449, the settlement of the boundaries of which he had been a witness to 
on the 10th July 1449. With the recovery of these lands he took repossession 
of the old Menzies Castle of Grandtully. As time went on, and his father 
became more absorbed in Church life, the young chief got possession of the 
whole of Loch Tay, with its surrounding lands called DecJieir and Twyere 
Discher ; in Gaelic, Deas-fhaire, looking south — and applied to the north side 
of Loch Tay — also meaning the sunny side, or looking towards the sun ; and 
Toyer — in Gaelic, Tuathfhaire — looking north, or the shady side, therefore applied 
to the south side of Loch Tay, which is shaded by its hills from the sun at certain 
hours of the day. He also got the large territory of Glenlyon, the lands and 
lordship of " Apnadul," now represented by the boundaries of the parish of 
Dull ; likewise the lands of Fortingall, with the markets of the same ; and 
" Strathbrawn," with its lands and markets. These, with others, made him a man 
of great power, even in the time of his father. 

On the 2 1st August 1451 the young chief Angus the Menzies gave to his 
son, Robert Menzies, the lands of Emerereane — now thought to be Edinample ? 
— and Croftytarane, now Glen Turret ? These lands lie in Strath Earn, and 

a.d. 1451-1452.] CHIEF SIR ANGUS THE MENZIES. 125 

were a continuation of the lands of the Menzies' extending south from Loch Tay, 
and Strath Tay, or the Appin of the Menzies', thus giving them the possession 
of the whole country between Loch and Strath Tay, and Loch and Strath Earn. 
These lands were apparently held by them for an indefinite period before, and 
embodied in their ancient charters, only being mentioned when they came to be 
separated from the main estates, as was this portion to Robert Menzies, the record 
of which is as follows : — 

"Charter to Robert Menzies, son and heir-apparent of Angusii Meinzies of 
Cumre, and to his heirs male, the whole lands of Emerereane and of Croftytarane, 
with buildings, pertinents thereon adjacent in the earldom of Stratherne in the 
shire of Perth, upon the resignation of Mariote of Galmolawath, the tenant of 
the king, &c, as a reward for a ' deed of true service, owned and acknowledged.' 
Witnesses are, with others : — ■ David de Murray of Tullibardin, Simone de 
Glendynivyn of the same, William de Cranstoun of Crosby — at Edinburgh, 21st 
August 1451." — Oliphant's of Scot. 

This Mariote was doubtless Mariote Menzies, sister to Angus Menzies, who 
married the Earl of Annandale, but gave up these lands to her nephew on coming 
of age. This charter was arranged and signed at the Menzies Castle on the 
island of Loch Tay, then the residence of Chief Angus Menzies, as his father, Sir 
John, occupied Castle Menzies at that time. That it was arranged at the 
Menzies Castle of Loch Tay island is confirmed by the records of the Great 
Seal, which states: — "At Edinburgh, 21st August 1451, James II. The king 
confers on Robert Menzies, son and heir-apparent of Angus Menzies of Comre, 
and his heirs male the lands of Emerc, and of Croftyiitarane in the earldom of 
Stratherne in the shire of Perth, which Mariote of Galmolawach at Loch Tay 
personally resigned." 

Alexander Stewart of Banchory, a relative of the Duke of Albany, Regent 
of Scotland during the non-age and imprisonment of King James I., had a son 
Thomas who, says Nisbet, received a feu-grant of the lands of Grandtully from 
Angus Menzies about 1452 ; and immediately thereafter, possibly as the reward 
of the good services referred to in the charter of 21st August 145 1, the lands and 
castle of Grandtully were handed back to the young Chief Angus Menzies by this 
Thomas Stewart. This restoration was confirmed by King James II., as is thus 
recorded : — 

"At 24th May 1452, James II. The king confirms a charter by 

Thome Stewart of Granetuly, who conveys to Angusio Menzeis of Cumre the 
said lands and house (castle) of Granetuly, together with the lands of Bordland 
in the shire of Perth." — Reg. Great Seal, p. 26, vol. vii. 

The lands of Grandtully had up to this date been embodied in the Menzies 
district of Dull, or the abthanage of Dull, and only on their changing hands 

126 THE "RED 6* WHITE" BOOK OF MENZIES. [a.d. 1452-1455. 

was the name brought into record. It is a compact district in the south-east part 
of the then Menzies lordship of Dull, measuring about 6\ miles extreme length 
by about 5 miles extreme breadth, with an area of about 32^ miles. The old 
church of Grandtully is conjectured to have been built by Saint David Menzies, 
so that when residing at Castle Grandtully he could perform the office of pastor to 
the people. It was subordinate to Dull, which in turn was subordinate to the 
Church of Weem. This old church is built up against the old castle of Grandtully, 
and stands near the present road, about 3 miles east of Aberfeldy. 

About the year 1455 the young chief, as lord of Disher and Towir, evidently 
let a portion of these lands to Colin Campbell of Glenurchy, who, as the tenant 
of Angus Menzies, had to pay to him the crown fees then levied on such men. 
Sir Angus in turn paid these into the king's exchequer, in which records we find 
the following payment by him : — 

" Angus Menyeis, his fees, &c, paid by the same in money as accounted by 
settlement with Thome Olyfant, Constable of the Castle of Edinburgh, by the 
mandate of the lord the king, by letters patent under the Seal, above accounted, 
and himself acknowledges receiving such account in full discharge of the fee 
of such yearly sum of .£13, 6s. 8d. And for the discharge of Colin Cambell, 
Knight, who was commanded to pay yearly to the lord of ' Deschyr' and ' Towyr' 
(Sir Angus the Menzies) in full discharge of his fee the yearly rent of £26, 13s. 4d. 

I4S5-" " 

Connected with the foregoing is a list of the other Menzies lands and 
markets for which the young chief of the Menzies' paid dues to the Crown, but 
which he held in his own hands unlet to outsiders. This Colin " Cambell " is the 
first of the Campbells who came as tenant vassals to the Menzies', and it is 
much to be regretted that they were ever allowed to have lands let to them, 
as with them came all the internal troubles in the large possessions of Clan 
Menzies, which has resulted in the Campbells getting possession of the greater 
part of them by various artifices. Nearly all the lands of Bredalbin were up 
to this time the possessions of the Menzies'. The fees to the Crown for the other 
Menzies lands, paid by Chief Sir Angus the Menzies, are thus recorded : — 

" And Angusis of Menyeis has given in full payment his annual fee, 
amounting to £6, 13s. 4d., from the markets of the said lands of ' Deschir and 
Towyr,' and in full discharge of the annual fee from them, amounting to 
£\l, 6s. 8d., and from the markets of ' Glenlyoun,' his fees from the same 
annually of 26s. 8d., and from his markets of Forthirgill, ' Fortingall,' the annual 
fee from the same of 20s., and the markets of ' Apnadul,' his fee from the same of 
lis., and the markets of Strathbraune, his fee from the same for each year of 
us., and allocates the accounts of the free lands of 'Cassochy,' which was collected 
at this time by Roberto Watsoune, to which nickil hebabet, in good manner, as 

a.d. 1455-1456.] CHIEF SIR ANGUS THE MENZIES. 127 

also the king assesses the annual amount at £4, and allocates the amounts as 
per settlement hereupon. Albany heralds," &c. — Exchequer Rolls, p. 51, vol. vi. 

Although part of Glenlyon is in the district comprehended under the name 
Fortingall, yet it had at this time a market of its own. Glenlyon is a long, narrow 
vale extending from Loch Lyon, lying near the western boundary of Perthshire 
running towards the Tay, to near Comery Castle — a distance of about 28 miles. 
The Glen is traversed through its whole length by the river Lyon ; its breadth is 
very inconsiderable — seldom in the level part exceeding a furlong — and in some 
places so hemmed in by the mountains as to only contain a space of 8 or 10 
yards for the passage of the river. Its flanking heights on both sides, but 
specially on the southern, come down upon it with such steep declivity as to 
ward off the sunbeams and render it a vale of light and shade during the entire 
days of the winter months, and a considerable portion of every other day during 
the year ; but it is remarkable that the sides of the glen up to the very summits 
of the hills are in general green with herbage, and dotted over with sheep. Down 
the sides of the glen rush innumerable burns, careering over every impediment 
coming in their way, forming cataracts and cascades of every variety, on their 
impetuous way to join the river Lyon — many of them coming from a distance of 
four miles inland — presenting many pictures of mingled beauty and romantic 
grandeur ; the finishing effects of the landscape being completed by the many 
singular careerings, falls, spates, and" deep, dark pools, with other natural and 
impressive beauties of the river Lyon. Near the head of the glen stands the old 
Menzies' fortalice, Meggernie Castle, probably built by Chief Lord Robert 
" Meggneris," 1328 — retaining almost the same spelling — the old square tower of 
which is conjectured to have been altered by Sir Angus the Menzies. It has in its 
ancient doorway an iron-grated door very like the one at Castle Menzies. There 
must have been a large population with a considerable trade in Glenlyon at this 
time, as his returns are very good as compared with the others. 

The following year (1456) we find the young chief making payment to the 
Crown Exchequer of his fees from his possessions, in which record we have the 
Menzies Castle and island of Loch Tay mentioned, which was the principal place 
of residence of Sir Angus the Menzies. In his time it was at this Menzies Castle, 
on the island of Loch Tay, that most of the documents were dated from : these, 
with the fees from his tenant, Colin Campbell, and his other possessions, reads 
thus : — 

"Angus Meigners, his fee, &c, 1456, from Sir Colino Cambel, Knight, who 
for beseching and for service with the annual rent of 40 merks to the lord of 
Descheir and Toyere, ' Sir Angus the Menzies,' in full payment of his annual fees, 
hereby received £26, 1 3s. 4d." — Exchequer Rolls. 

This shows how the Glenurchy Campbells came as the followers of the 

128 THE "RED & WHITE" BOOK OF MENZIES. [a.d. 1456. 

Menzies', who, for becoming their vassal, allowed him to become a tenant, paying 
an annual rent of ^26, 1 3s. 4d., of which Sir Angus the Menzies, as lord of Loch 
Tay, gave as his fees to the Crown 40 merks. The record of the fees for the other 
Menzies lands and their markets given along with the above are : — 

" And Agusis Meigneris for his annual fees as the Lord Commissioner of 
the king paid £6, 13s. 4d. from his markets and lordship Descheir and Toyere ; 
and as the possessor and custidonian of the castle and island of Loch Tay, the 
annual fee amounting to 17s. 8d. ; and from his markets of Glenlyoun the annual 
fee amounting to 26s. 8d. ; and the markets of Apnadul, from them the annual 
fee of us.; and his markets of Strathbrawn the annual fee from the same of 
us.; and also for the superfluous burdens of the lands of Tibbyrmellock 
(Tibbermore), which fuerant at the feast of Penticost, with annual payment of 
20 merks allowed for burdens of same, with 16 lib., of which one term is discharged 
by the said 20 merks paid at Penticost, the which payment of fees, contained 
with the remaining ballance of merks, together at the term of the blessed Martini, 
about which date in future the annual payment ' is to be made,' amounting to 
£g, 6s. 8d." — Exchequer Rolls, p. 246, vol. vi. 

Strathbran takes its name from the river Bran, which issues from Loch 
Freuchie in Glenquich, both being in Sir Angus the Menzies' lordship of Dull. 
The Bran flows eastwards along Strathbran, past Amulree, through Little 
Dunkeld to the junction of the river Tay. Above Dunkeld Bridge, its length, 
measured from Loch Freuchie, is about 10 miles. The Bran is a turbulent 
and impetuous stream, its bed being composed of rocks or large loose stones, 
through which it forces its way. The lands of Strath Bran, adjoining to those 
of Grandtully, formed the east boundary of Sir Angus Menzies' possessions. 
The markets of Strath Bran were held at Amulree — standing on the Bran, 
encompassed amid wild Highland scenery. They are still continued as fairs, one 
on the first Wednesday of May and the day before ; the other on the Friday 
before the first Wednesday of November. 

Loch Tay, with its island, on which is the ancient castle of the Menzies', 
lies in the midst of a mountainous country, which up to the time of Sir Angus the 
Menzies was known by the name of Descheir and Towyer. This magnificent 
sheet of water commences at the foot of Glendochart and Glenlochy, where 
it receives the united streams of these glens, and flows north-eastward to the 
vicinity of Kenmore — then Bellech — where it discharges its superfluous waters, 
forming the river Tay. The length of Loch Tay is 15 miles, and its average 
breadth is about a mile, and from 15 to 100 fathoms deep: it is strictly a 
Highland lake. The mountains on the north side form a bulky chain, with lofty, 
finely-outlined heads, the most conspicuous being Ben Lawers, the lands of 
which were first let by Sir Angus the Menzies to " Colin Cambel " as a vassal, and 


for the foregoing payments of rent, fees, &c. Ben Lawers is the highest ground 
in Perthshire ; the heights on the south side are much less lofty and more 
regular, but both are well-clad with heath and verdure. The view of the loch 
from the high part of the road on the side of Drummond Hill is simply charming. 
About the south centre of the loch at Ardeonaig, stands Dall, the ruins of one of 
Sir Angus the Menzies' old castles, called Castle Mains. The isle of Loch Tay 
is at the east end of the loch, upon which are the remains of a priory, together 
with the ruins of the ancient castle of the Menzies', similar to Comrie Castle. 

The firm and systematic government of James II. had brought the Highlands 
into an acknowledgment of the right of the Crown to impose fees or taxes 
on the lands held by the chiefs of clans ; and we find the records of the King's 
Exchequer giving the details, places, and sums paid in from them up to the 
year 1457-8, in which year King James II. was killed at the siege of Roxburgh 
by the bursting of a gun. After his death disorder ensued, and the record 
of these fees stopped with the ensuing national confusion. Each successive 
record, however, gives increased details, as will be seen from the last we can find 
relating to Sir Angus the Menzies, which is as follows : — 

" Angus Menyeis, his fees, &c. And Angusis Menyeis for his fees from the 

term of St Martin the same has paid, amounting to ,£3, 6s. 8d., and of the 

said free lands of Inver, with the fishing of the same, conceded by the Church 

of Dunkeld ; for the lord the king at the term of Pentecost, which amounts to 20s. ; 

and also from the free lands of Dawmarnok (Dowally), conceded by the said 

Church in like manner, by decree of the lord the king, at the same term, 33s. 4d. ; 

and the same from the free and extensive lands of Dawmarnok at the term of St 

Martin, his amount paid, 33s. 4d. ; and also from the lands of Kynclevin 

(Kinclaven), assigned by the church of St Andrew for the custodia of castle 

of Edinburgh, at the term of St Martin, of his payment of £36 ; And from his 

markets and lordship of ' Descheyr and Tweyer ; ' And from his possession and 

custodia of the castle and island of ' Lochtay ' the annual amount paid of 46s. 8d. 

And from his markets of ' Glenlyoun ' the fees of the annual amount of 26s. 8d. 

And from his markets of 'Apnadul' the annual fees amounting to lis. And 

from the markets of ' Strathbraune ' his fees from the same annually of lis. And 

the same from the second ward of ' Grantuly' the annual amount of us., payable 

to the abbey of Scona ; And from the markets of Kynclevin the fees at the term 

of Pentecost, at that time the sum of 20s. ; and the same from the free lands of 

DowschinlocJi in the barony of ' Apnadul,' as deputy lord under the king 

over the forests, with uncultivated and pasture (lands), the annual sum amounting 

to 26s. 8d. And likewise other fees, expenses from his foresaid, in final settlement, 

from districts accessible on foot to the same, the sum of .£38, 13s. id. And the 

same fees from his free lands and forest of ' Manlorn,' as deputy for the lord 


130 THE "RED cV> WHITE" BOOK OF MENZIES. [a.d. 1457. 

the king over the uncultivated pasture, at the term of Pentecost the same, which 
amounts to 1 3s. 4<d." — Exchequer Rolls, p. 366, vol. vi. 

The district of Mamlorn, mentioned in the foregoing, is a large tract of 
Highland country which then stretched from Loch Tay at its west and north- 
west end, and extended right across country till it is thought to have reached 
Loch Etive, including Glen Falloch, Glen Dochart, Glen Lochy, Glen Lyon, 
and part of Glen Orchy. All this vast tract of land Sir Angus the Menzies 
was lord superior of under the king, which he inherited from his ancestors, 
who are said to have held from the Tay at Logierait and Grandtully right across 
to Loch Crean and other lochs, touching Loch Etive and Loch Fyne, which 
lead to the Atlantic Ocean. Tradition says the ancestors of the Menzies' 
were the first who raised smoke or boiled water in the central Highlands of 
Athole, Breadalbin, and Mamlorn. The special reference to the forests of the 
Menzies' country in the foregoing record was brought about by King James II.; 
and his Parliament, becoming alarmed at the great clearances of the Scottish 
forests, then causing considerable anxiety to Parliament, who in a report 
declared : — " Regarding the plantation of woods and hedges, the lords thought 
it advisable that the king advise his freeholders to make it a provision in their 
Whitsunday's leases that all their tenants should plant trees, woods, make 
hedges, &c." — Tytler's Scotland, p. 53, vol. ii. This order was at once carried out 
by the Menzies', as they have always been favourable to the planting and 
maintaining of forests and arboriculture generally — many of the trees then 
planted now being the finest in Britain. 

It is recorded that in 1457 Sir Angus the Menzies paid to the Crown 
the sum of 20s., as fees for the lands and village of Inver. 

The lands and village of Inver — for which Sir Angus the Menzies, as recorded 
in the foregoing, paid to the Crown in 1457 the sum of 20s. as fees — were in 
former records included in the title of Strathbran, but here mentioned on account of 
this payment. The village of Inver stands between the Tay and the Bran, on 
a woody island surrounded by these rivers, having a mill and a bridge of two 
arches stretching over the Bran, the whole forming a very picturesque landscape. 
Joining to these lands, on the east bank of the Tay above Dunkeld, are the lands 
of Dowally, called in the records Daumarnok, for which Sir Angus the Menzies 
in 1457 paid into the Royal Scottish Exchequer the fee of 33s. 4d. These 
lands stretch along the east bank of the Tay, from the Pleyburn, about a mile 
from Dunkeld, northwards for about 6 miles, having the village of Daumarnok, 
now called Dowally, lying near the river Tay, about 4^ miles above Dunkeld. 
The main part consists of a narrow band of low ground lying along the Tay, 
with a grand forest-clad range of overhanging heights, abundantly stocked with 
deer and other game, which terminates at its lower boundary in the rocky hills 

a.d. 1457-1498.] CHIEF SIR ANGUS THE MENZIES. 131 

of Craigiebarns and Craigiebenean, presenting a very precipitous and picturesque 
appearance. There are two lakes, called the lochs of Rotmel, from which flows 
the Dowally or Daumarnok burn, driving mills as it runs into the Tay. The 
village stands on this burn near the Tay. 

Kynclevin, now Kinclaven, a village and parish for which Chief Sir Angus the 
Menzies paid fees to the Crown in 1457 amounting to ^36, the lands of which 
joined to those of Inver and stretched along the west bank of the river Tay, 
extending southward for about 5 miles. The Tay circles round more than one- 
half of its whole frontier, along which boundary, including windings, it runs a 
distance of 10 or 11 miles, almost everywhere bearing marks of its destructive 
impetuosity. At one point it forms a cascade, which falls into the deep Linn of 
Campie. The ruins of Kinclaven Castle are still to be seen. It was held by Sir 
Angus the Menzies, and stands on the banks of the river Tay, opposite the mouth 
of the river Isla, which runs into the Tay. The castle is said to have been 
originally built by King Malcolm Canmore, and was in the time of Wallace captured 
by him, assisted by the Menzies'. 

Tibbyrmelloch, now Tubbermore Parish. From these lands Sir Angus the 
Menzies in 1457 paid to the Scottish Exchequer fees to the amount of ,£16. 
Joined on to these were the lands of Kinclaven, through which runs the river 
Almond for about 4 miles, forming the north boundary of Tibbermore, and the 
south of Kinclaven, with the stream Pow for about 2 miles, measuring 6 miles 
in length by about 1 to 3 miles in breadth. Within its boundaries are the villages 
of Ruthven and Hillyland. The other detached portions of its lands were held 
by branches of Clan Menzies, afterwards known by their lands, as the Menzies' 
of Ferntower and Monzie. The general surface of Tibbermore, without being 
hilly, is diversified in the eastern parts ; it in general rises somewhat high above 
the level of the river Almond, then going down with a deep descent, forming a 
delightful plain along the margin of the stream ; it is to a large extent beautified 
with wood. These lands of Tibbermore were originally held by Oyth, afterwards 
Eviot of Busey. By the marriage of Margaret de Ouyoth about 1 343 with Sir 
Alexander the Menzies, they came to be held by the Menzies'. 

Chief Sir Angus the Menzies also held the lands of Inner-erchan in Strathearn ; 
and as the greater part of the lordship of Strathearn belonged to him, we find 
him giving a feu-grant of the lands of " Inner-erchan " to William Stewart of 
Ballendoran and Mariote Campbell, his spouse, for their lifetime. This grant was 
made in October 1498, at the Menzies Castle on the island of Loch Tay, which was 
the favourite place of residence of this chief of Clan Menzies. — Nisbet, p. 212, vol. ii. 

During his life Sir Angus the Menzies appears to have allowed his brother 
Robert the other tracts of the Menzies' country, which, being free, are not recorded 
as paying fees. Sir Angus was born about 1430, and died about 1498. 

K 2 

Cbicf Sir IRobert tbe fll>en3eis, tbe 48tb from flDasnus, 
ano tbe Utb Baron of fIDcn3ie0. 

Surnamed "The Venerable." 
a.d. 1 433- 1 5 23. 

CHIEF SIR ROBERT THE MENZIES, who, during the lifetime of his 
father, "The Admirable" Sir John the Menzies, surnamed in old Gaelic 
Neile brek, received as his first possessions the lands of Innercrean, from 
which he derived his designation, as appended to the charter of 1467, 
now in the possession of the Duke of Athole, which he signed as " Robert Menzies 
of Innercrean." These lands form what is now called Loch Crean, which is a 
branch of Loch Linnhe running inland, opposite to the Isle of Lismore. Into 
Loch Crean flows the stream or burn of Crean, which traverses the mountainous 
valley of Glen Crean in its course. In Glen Crean there are the remains of 
copper mines, which tradition says were wrought by the Menzies' when they were 
the lords over the mines of Scota, under the ancient race of Scottish kings 
descending from their ancestor King Maynus. The confluence or mouth of the 
Crean is what his estate took its name from — Inner-crean — meaning confluence 
of the Crean. These lands are said to have included the Isle of Lismore and the 
Black Forest, then under the lordship of his brother Sir Angus the Menzies, being 
included with the forest of Mamlorn, thus giving possession to the Menzies' of the 
whole stretch of country from Crean — an arm of the sea — to Castle Menzies. 

Sir Robert the Menzies married in 1478 Margaret Lindsay, the third daughter 
of Sir David Lindsay of Edzell and Bewfort. — Douglas Peerage, p. 164, vol. i. 

After the death of Chief Sir John the Menzies, Duncan Campbell, second of 
Glenorchy, who was one of the tenants on the Menzies' estates, saw by marrying 
the widow of the deceased chief a grand opportunity for making a claim upon the 
splendid possessions of the Menzies. His second wife, Margaret Stewart of Lorn, 
having died, he therefore married Lady Menzies in all haste, and lost no time in 
bringing an action against the young chief, and had Sir Robert the Menzies 
summoned before the Lords of Council to compel him to give him a thrice of the 

a.d. 1479-1484.J THE VENERABLE CHIEF. 133 

rental of the lands of Cranich as the widow's portion. This is recorded in the 
Acts of the Lords of Council, which reads thus : — 

" 5th November, 1479. In the occasion and cause of persuit by Duncan 
Campbell and Elizabeth, Patrick's dochtir — his spouse, and sometime the spouse 
of deceased Neile Brek, on the one part, against Robert Mezeis, son and heir 
of deceased Johne Mezeis of Ennoch, on the other part, for the warrant of the 
said Duncan Campbell and Elizabeth, for the fee of 18 merk land by Marrion, 
the spouse of deceased, the said John for her third trice of the land of Crannich, 
by reason of a band and contract made betwixt deceased, the said John the 
Menzies, Neile, and the said Elizabeth. The said Robert Menzies being lawfully 
and peremtorilly summoned and often called, and not appearing, the evidence, 
right, reasons, and allegations of the said Duncan Campbell and Elizabeth, at 
length being heard and understood, the Lords of Council decree and delivers 
that the said Robert Menzies is to pay his full warrant, and keep scatheless 
and relieve the said Duncan Campbell and Elizabeth of the said 18 merks 
of the said trice, after the form of the said letter of contract made by said 
deceased John the Menzies, as is said before." — Acts of the Lords of Council, Civil 
Cases, p. 40. 

This decision was a source of great joy to the wily Campbell, for by it 
he gained a footing on the north side of Loch Tay — at least during the lifetime of 
Lady Menzies, whom he had married. The dowager lands of Crannich at this 
time represented the greater portion of the north side of Loch Tay ; and included 
what is now known as the lands of Lawers, Balnahanaid, Craggantoll, and the 
Tombrecks, &c, from which he was to get a third part of the rents. 

In the reign of King James III. — owing to the continual conspiracies by 
one faction and another, and the want of money by the king to defend the 
Crown and defray the expenses incurred in raising an army to keep his nobles in 
check — it became necessary to demand the payment of " mails " from the tenants 
on the estates of barons. We find, therefore, the following abridged order 
against Sir Robert Menzies' tenants to compel payment of these taxes : — ■ 

" 26th October 1484. The Lords decree and deliver that Johne Stewart, 
Robert Menzeis, Robert M'Nare, Alexr. Finlawsoun M'Gillomartin, Donald 
M'Giltairr, Johne Rede Mengies, Finlaw Croy, Finlaw M'Amdy, Finlaw M'Nare, 
Robert Rede, Finlaw M'Antalzor, Fand Millar, Andro Finlysoun, Duncan 
Campbell, Marion Campbell, Gregor Duncanson, Duncan Charlisson, and the 
remnant or rest of the tenants and inhabitants of the land of Aberfeldy and 
Dalrawer, shall consent and pay to William of Rothune of that Ilk, Knight, 
the malts of the third of the two part of the lands of the Lordship of Weyme of 
the Whitsunday term gone past, and also that the said persons, with the tenants 
foresaid, shall content and pay to the said Sir William the ' malis ' and dewties 

134 THE "RED & WHITE" BOOK OF MENZIES. [a.d. 1484-1488. 

of the two part of the land of the said lordship of ' Weyme ' of the said 
Whitsunday term, pertaining to him by reason of assignation of a Rev. father, 
William, Bishop of Aberdeen, Sir Mungo ' Lokert,' Mr 'Dauid' Cuperdale, and 
Mr Alex. Tower, Archdean of Dunkeld ; and ordains that the bailies there to 
distrain said persons and tenants their lands and goods for the said malis, 
and they were lawfully summoned to personally appear, and having been oftimes 
called and did not compeer." — Acts of the Lords of Council, Civil Cases. 

From the foregoing, it will be observed that Duncan Campbell of Glenurchy 
and his wife, Marion Campbell — the widow of the late Sir John the Menzies — are 
among those against whom decree was given as only tenants on the Menzies 
estates. From this time Duncan Campbell began to ingratiate himself into the 
favour of Sir Robert Menzies, and proffered his services as a follower under 
bands of manrent. After the lapse of a few years, owing to the disturbed 
state of the country, we have Duncan Campbell of Glenurchy becoming a vassal 
of Sir Robert the Menzies, and giving himself as such under the most servile 
conditions, as will be seen from the following band of manrent from the Charter 
Room of Castle Menzies, whereby the Campbells of Glenurchy became the 
followers of Clan Menzies : — 

" Duncan Campbell of Glenurchy to Robert Menzies of Ennochque : 
Edinburgh, 21st October 1488. Be it kend till all men be thir present letters, 
me, Duncane Campbell of Glenrchquha, to be bundin and oblist, and be thir 
present letteris and the faithe and truthe in my body stratby bindis and oblissis 
me to a worchipfull man, Robert Menzeis of Ennochque : Forasmekle as the ' said ' 
Robert has gevin to me for all the days of my liff all and hale the landis of 
Auchinmoir with their pertinentis, likas his letter maid to me of lifrent heireapoun 
proportis ; that herfor I bind and oblissis me and becummis in manteinance, 
supple, help, and trew consale to the said Robert, and sal tak ane awfald lele and 
trew parte with him in all and sindry his actions, causis, querellis, and pleyis, 
movit or to be movit, lefull and honest ; ande sal nocht wit his harme, hurt, 
scaith, heirschip, deid nor disherising to his person, landis, takkis, nor gudis, bot 
I sal warne him thairof in dew tyme, and lat it at my possable power ; and I 
sal gif him the best consal I can, and I sail conseill and consele at the schanis to 
me ; and I sal ryd and gang with him quhen I am requirit befor all thaim 
that leff or dee may expet my allegans to our souerain lord the king and to the 
lordis to quham I am bundin to of before : and thir my letteris of manteinnas, 
help, and supple, till endure for al the dais of my liff, but fraud or gile. Ande 
altour the said Duncan byndis and oblissis him as said is, that he sal nocht 

opres the tenandis of the lands of Cranoch, Morinche, Auchinmoir Al 

vther his lands Hand on the watter of Lyoun, of the quhilkis the said Duncan is 
bailie of vnder me (Sir Robert Menzeis), likas my letter of balzery maid to the said 

a.d. 1488-1489.] THE VENERABLE CHIEF. 135 

Duncan heirapoun proportis, vtheris wais than will ; and in likewis the said 
Duncan Campbell mak the said Robert and his assignais, assignay to the said 
Duncane in and to the tak and asedatioun of the [Kirk] of the Weme for als mony 
yeris as said Duncane has the samyn of Maister Johne Fressale ; the said Robert 
and his assignais pay and thairfor als mekil proffitis as the said Duncan pait, 
and to be enterit thairto at the next crop, all fraud and gile away excludit. In 
witnes of the quhilk thing to thir present letteris I have sett to my sele : at 
Edinburgh, the xxi day of October, the yere of God j'"iiii c lxxxviiii yeris." — 
Charier Room, Castle Menzies, No. 177. 

By this humbling, crawling submissiveness, Duncan Campbell managed to 
get the lands of Auchmore for his lifetime as tenant, and was made deputy- 
bailie of Cranoch, Morenish, Auchmore, &c, under Sir Robert the Menzies, with 
restrictions not to injure the other tenants nor oppress them in his capacity as 
Sir Robert's bailie over those parts of the Menzies country allotted to him as such. 
Another reason which may have induced Sir Robert the Menzies to accept 
the services of Duncan Campbell would be to enable him to bring as large a force 
into the field as possible to support King James III., who was opposed by 
his son. The Campbells, therefore, followed the Menzies, with other Highlanders, 
to the battle near Stirling, where James III. was defeated and assassinated, on 
being thrown from his horse, by a conspirator in the guise of a priest. 

In 1489 — Sir Robert the Menzies still having possession of Enouch and 
other parts of the Dumfries estates — was by his relation Cuthbert Menzies brought 
before the Lords of Council, who petitioned that the lands of " Achinfell " and 
" Drumcrule " be given him, being the property of his branch. This Sir Robert 
disputed, and Cuthbert, to enforce his rights, summoned him before the Lords of 
Council. The record is as follows : — 

" 1st March 1489. The action and cause presented by Cuthbert Menzies of 
' Achinfell ' against Robert Menzies of the Enouch, nevo and heir of deceased 
Johne Menzies of the Ennoch, of warrant acquit and desend to the said Cuthbert 
and his heirs the lands of ' Achinfell ' and Drumcrule free of all annuals, as is 
contained in the summons, is by the Lords of Council continued to the 15th day 
of June next, to come with contraction of days in the same form and effect as it 
now is, but without prejudice of parties, and ordains the said Cuthbert Menzies 
to bring to the same day, with contraction of days, the principal charter that 
he alleges to have of these lands, both the parties are summoned by themselves, 
and their procurators appeared." — Acts of the Lords of Council, Civil Cases, 
p. 133, vol. vi. 

It would appear that Cuthbert Menzies established his claim, as no more 
was heard of this dispute. He was, however, one of the progenitors of a branch of 
the Menzies of Dumfriesshire. 

136 THE "RED &> WHITE" BOOK OF MENZIES. [a.d. 1489-1494 

The Menzies' still held the lands of Ceres as lords superior, and as such 
were in receipt of one-third its annual rental as feu-duties ; this they had received 
from the feuars of Ceres without any trouble until about 1490, when one of 
the feu-holders named Andrew Kinmount of Craighall, the lands of which he and 
his fathers held in feu from the chiefs of Menzies for payment of one-third its 
annual rental valuation — this Kinmont refused to pay, and ultimately Sir Robert 
summoned him before the Lords of Council, in the records of which we find the 
case thus recorded : — 

"23 Junii 1494. Annent the actioun and cause persewit be Robert Mezes 
of Innoch agains Androv Kinynmond of Cragihall for the wrangeris intrometting 
and withalding fra him of the third part of the ' rent from ' the land and barony 
of Cerese, with the pertenants Hand in the sherfdome of Fiff, and for divuris other 
causes contained in the summond. Both said partiis beand present, the said 
Andrew Kynnymond allegiit that ane carnecorse suld werrand him pe said 
landis, and, therefore, the Lords of Counsale assignis to the said Andrew, the viii 
day of October nixt to cum without contracion of dais, to call his said werrand, 
and contenewis the said matter in the meyntym, in the samyn form and effect 
as it now is, but preiudice of party, and the parties are summoned to appear 
in October." 

Nothing more being heard of the case, Kinmount evidently agreed to pay 
his feu-duties regularly to Sir Robert and his successors. 

Sir Robert the Menzies, like many other lords of landed property, suffered 
much from thieves during the troubles — both before and after the death of 
James III. — with which Scotland was afflicted. The young king, James IV., 
determined to put down all acts of theft, robbery, and other crimes. We therefore 
find, by the following decree, Sir Robert receiving restitution for the theft of 
a mare taken from his lands by an accomplice of Sir David Lindsay's, who was 
ordained to refund its value : — 

"October nth. The Lords of Council decree and deliver that John Curro, 
' burgis ' of Edinburgh shall content and pay to Robert Menzeis of Enoch the 
sum of 33 merks, 6s. 8d., usual money of Scotland, for the 'reft of a mare from 
audit to ' him by the said Johne, like as he was bound by his obligation, showen 
and produced before the Lords. And because the said John Curro alleged that 
Sir David Lindsay of Bewfurd, Knight, should warrant him, the Lords therefore 
ordain that he has no business to call his a warrant, and that by distraining of 
the said Johne by default for 30 dais next to come after the date hereof, the which 
30 days being bypast, that there be written to distrain the said Johne, his lands 
and goods, for the said sum and for us. to his expenses and costs." — Acts of the 
Lords of Council, Civil Cases, p. 145. 

One of the tenants of Sir Robert the Menzies, Duncan Charlisson, who was on 

a.d. 1494.] THE VENERABLE CHIEF. 137 

the list of those who had not paid their " mails" in 1484, was again, in 1492, for 
some offence not mentioned, brought before the Lords of Council by virtue of a 
summons from Sir Robert, who, not appearing, the case was allowed to drop, as 
follows : — 

" June 22. Before the Lords of Council appeared Duncan Charlisson, and 
pleaded that because Robert Menzies of the Enoch gert summons him at his 
instance for certain actions contained in the summons, and would not compere to 
'folow' him there before the Council." — Acts of the Lords of Council, Civil Cases, 

P- 237- 

There is every reason to believe in the old traditions that the Campbells 
were solely at the bottom of many of these acts of theft and other troubles with 
the neighbours of the chiefs of Menzies, their object evidently being to harass and 
weaken both parties by underhand work, and make themselves necessary. 

In 1488 Neil Stewart of Garth — a descendant on the female side of Sir 
Alexander Menzies by his daughter, Janet Menzies, Neil's mother, by which 
marriage the Stewarts had got Garth Castle — made an indenture with Duncan 
Campbell ofGlenurchy of mutual support, &c, and from that time a bitter feeling 
was shown by Stewart towards Sir Robert the Menzies. All the time Duncan 
Campbell was inciting Stewart against Sir Robert, while vowing friendship 
towards him as his bond leal man and follower. Campbell was, in fact, a cunning, 
scheming fox, making his own use of Neil Stewart, who was headstrong and 
passionate, and could not see the use Campbell was making of him. In this 
way the deadly feud between Neil Stewart and Sir Robert the Menzies began. 
Stewart suddenly and forcibly took possession of the lands of Dailray and 
Caudois Croft ; Sir Robert Menzies resented, and with a wisdom not always found 
among the Highland chiefs in those days, had Neil Stewart summoned before the 
Lords of Council, 19th June 1494, who decreed as follows : — 

" The Lords of Council decree and deliver that Neil Stewart of Fortingall 
does wrong in the occupation and intromitting with the lands of Dailry, and 
of the ' toft ' and croft called Caudois Croft, with the pertinents ; and therefore 
Ordains him to desist and cese therefrom and until he ' be lauchfully entrit,' 
there to be broken and manured by ' Robert Menzeis of Ennoch ' untill the entry 
of the lawful heir thereto. And also decree and deliver that the said Neil shall 
consent and pay to the said Robert Menzeis the sum of three lib (pounds), a 
boll of beer, and a wedder yearly, of vii years' males and possession of the said 
land, and vi lib (pounds) of grassum of the said land by the said space of vii years, 
taking up and intromitted with by the said Neil, as was sufficiently proven before 
the Lords ; and ordains that letters be ' written to devoid ' and ' red ' the said 
lands, and to distrain for the said summons ; and the said ' Neil ' was present at 
this action." — Acts of the Lords of Council, Civil Cases, p, 329. 

138 THE "RED &> WHITE" BOOK OF MENZIES. [a.d. 1494-1497. 

This decision at once defeated Stewart and his crafty adviser's schemes, but 
it was also at considerable loss to Sir Robert, being only a foretaste of the 
insatiable revenge which smouldered within the heart of his enemy, who lay 
in wait, wolf-like, for an opportunity to pounce upon him. 

Neil Stewart was supposed to be acting in secret with the broken men 
and cattle-lifters of the surrounding country, in connection with whom another 
circumstance occurred which hastened Stewart into open acts of lawlessness. 
Sir Robert the Menzies had captured some Rannoch cattle-lifters, and Neil 
Stewart with a band of caterans attempted to rescue them, but was defeated in 
his bold attempt with considerable loss by Sir Robert, who held his prisoners 
with a strong hand and brought them to Castle Menzies. He dispatched a 
messenger to the government of James IV. at Edinburgh, who sent officials to 
bring them there to trial, of which we find the following recorded in the " Accounts 
of the Lord High Treasurer of Scotland," dated 23rd October, 1497 : — 

" Item to Richard Wallas to pas to the Lard of Weym ' Sir Robert Menzies,' 
with ane letter to fech theives." The Menzies, having captured another gang 
of these Highland robbers, they were sent for from Edinburgh, as we find again 
on the 5th of November 1497 there is recorded another payment as follows : — 
"Item to Richard Wallas, messenger-' at-arms ' to pas to the Lard of Weym 'Sir 
Robert Menzies,' 'to fech thevis.'" — Exchequer Rolls, p. 365. 

This shows that two batches of prisoners had been dispatched by Sir Robert 
to the government at Edinburgh, there to be dealt with. This firm and 
courageous action of Sir Robert seems to have damped the action of his enemies 
and pacified the district for a time. 

In 1497 Sir Robert the Menzies had the bailiary of Slios-Min or Loch 
Rannoch restored to him as Chief of Clan Menzies after the capture of the thieves. 
He is described as " an excellent, order-loving gentleman, who deserved the king's 
respect, and who was very much honoured by the industrious and well-behaved 
inhabitants of his own district ; but the cattle-lifters defied him to catch them in 
the Moss of Rannoch." — Book of Garth, p. 176. 

The branch of the Clan Menzies of Garth — whose estates Neil Stewart had 
claimed to be heir to from his mother — were thus descended from Chief Sir 
Robert, the 42nd Menzies, Viscount of Edinburgh, who gave his second son, Sir 
Alexander Menzies, the lands of Fortingall, then represented by the present 
parish of that name. Sir Alexander married Janet, daughter of Robert Stewart, 
the Earl of Athole, about 1 370. Of this marriage there were two sons ; the elder, 
Sir Alexander Menzies, inherited the estates of his father and mother. He had 
an only child called Jean, or Janet, Menzies, named after his mother. She 
married Duncan Stewart, fifth natural son of Alexander Stewart, Earl of Buchan, 
fourth son of King Robert II., by his first wife, Elizabeth More. The Earl is better 

a.d. 1 497-1 500.] THE VENERABLE CHIEF. 139 

known as the " Wolf of Badenoch " from his savageness. By the marriage of 
Janet Menzies of Garth with Duncan the fifth son of the Wolf, there was a son 
named Neil Stewart, who, on the death of his father, claimed the estates of Garth, 
Rannoch, &c, all in Fortingall, in right of his mother, Janet Menzies. On 
the other hand, Sir Robert the Menzies claimed the return of the whole barony of 
Fortingall, now parish of Fortingall, as heir male and lord superior over the 
lands in right of their return to male heirs of the main line of the Menzies' of 
Menzies, from whom they came, and at the same time the lordship of Dull. The 
latter was first acknowledged on the 16th of January 1500, when Sir Robert the 
Menzies got a renewal of the old charters of his ancestors to the lands and barony 
of Camsernay and other lands of the Menzies'. The charter reads as follows : — 

"At Stirling, 16th January 1500, James IV. The king grants for good 
services and for possession the property under the Crown conceded to ' Robert 
Menzeis' the Menzies, and heritably to his heirs and assignees, the 20s. lands 
of Eddcrroull, the 4 merk lands of Cammysamay, the 1 merk lands of Toticro, and 
surrounding parts of said lands of Cammysamay ; the 20s. lands of Nethir-Newane, 
which ' Donald Makqueil ' inhabited ; the 5 merk lands of Tigermack, 2 merk 
lands of Tomtkeogle, extending to the annual rental of £10 ; lands of old extent 
in his lordship of Apnadull and shire of ' Perth,' united and incorporated into the 
free barony of Cammysamay, confirmed by threefold possession of the said 
lands, viz., £30, named in full possession." — Register of the Great Seal, 
p. 544-2566. 

The renewal to Sir Robert of charters for the ancient possessions of the 
Menzies' seemed to stir up the jealousy of the young Neil Stewart, who had 
claimed on the death of his father (31st January 1499) the old estates of the 
Menzies' of Garth. His precept of entry is dated 3rd November 1500. Stewart 
seems to have inherited the fierce nature of his grandfather the Wolf of Badenoch, 
and he has often been confounded with him, receiving the appellation of Cuilean 
Curta, or, The Wolf, by the Highlanders. He inherited from his father the spirit 
of revenge, which was fanned by Duncan Campbell of Glenurchy. 

Following on this charter Sir Robert the Menzies soon afterwards regained, 
and had confirmed by charter, possession of a large part of the district of Fortingall, 
which had been his ancestors' by lordship ever since the country had been divided 
by Malcolm Canmore, 1061. These were the lands of the Rannoch, and the 
grant of this latter charter brought the feud to a height. Prior to this time the 
north side of Loch Rannoch was inhabited by some of the most peaceful 
inhabitants of Scotland, and the region had given no trouble to the Crown under 
the lordship of the Menzies' until many of the broken men, driven out of other 
parts of the Highlands, became followers under Neil Stewart, " The Young Wolf." 
At this time King James IV., investigating into the condition of the country, visited 

140 THE "RED &- WHITE" BOOK OF MENZIES. [a.d. 1500-1502. 

Kinloch-Rannoch and other parts, when, according to tradition, in returning from 
Rannoch he halted at Castle Menzies, and being convinced of the claims of Sir 
Robert Menzies as the lineal descendant of the oldest and truest clan in that part 
of his dominions, and the rightful inheritor of Rannoch, which had always been 
included under the Menzies' lordship of Fortingall, just as it is now within that 
parish, James IV. therefore granted unto Chief Sir Robert and his heirs male a 
new charter to the Rannoch, with the loch and surrounding country, under the 
title of the " Barony of Rannoch," which reads as follows : — 

"At Stirling, 1st September 1502, King James IV. The king, for 
services done at great risk and for possession of the property under the Crown in 
full possession, concedes to ' Robert Menzeis ' of Menzies and his heirs male the 
lands of 'Rannoch,' viz., Dowane, Kinclaucliter, the two Cammysirochtis, Ardlarach, 
Kilqulionane Larane,. Ardlair, Laragane, island of Lodirannoch, the lochs of 
RannacJi and Iroclity, with everything in the district, and islands connected 
with these lands, extending in rental to £20 lands, with the keeping of the 
forests in the same ' Rannoch ' in shire of Perth, and the same is erected into the 
free barony of ' Rannach ' : Discharged £30 annually in full possession." — Reg. 
Great Seal, Scot., 2664, p. 566. 

This charter confirmed to Sir Robert Menzies the vast stretch of country of 
Loch Rannoch which Neil Stewart of Garth was anxious to have himself. It is 
related that, on discovering Sir Robert had got this charter, his rage knew no 
bounds, and his maddening impetuosity hurled him with all the relentless ferocity 
of his grandfather, the redoubtable " Wolf of Badenoch," to wreak his vengeance on 
Sir Robert. The more to make his vengeance a success he planned an attack 
under darkness of night on Castle Menzies, to be carried out in the most 
treacherous manner possible, at the same time keeping up a show of unaltered 
relations to Sir Robert. Neil Stewart gathered with the utmost secrecy all the 
thieves he could muster from the surrounding districts, for he well knew he could 
not take Castle Menzies by open warfare, or if the slightest suspicion of his 
intention became known. He therefore got his followers and accomplices to creep 
through the woods to Weem under cover of night, led by Niall Gointe himself, 
and in the darkness watch their opportunity. It is not known how Stewart and 
his followers surprised the unsuspecting guard of the castle, but the surprise 
was so complete that the invaders were in full possession of the fortalice before 
Sir Robert or his household were aware of any danger. There was little or no 
resistance, as it was impossible, the whole garrison and household being unaware 
of the treachery, and consequently there was little or no bloodshed. The chief, 
Sir Robert, was taken and bound prisoner by Stewart, who then turned the other 
members of the household and retainers out of doors, when he proceeded to 
plunder the castle and then set it on fire. 















a.d. 1502-1503.] THE VENERABLE CHIEF. 141 

The outhouses and other buildings were given to the flames by the raiders. 
Tradition says that they also burned, among other buildings, a small keep which 
stood at the present east gate to Castle Menzies, at the village of Weem. Castle 
Menzies itself was too strong to be affected much by the fire ; the vaulted stone 
floors resisted its force, and only part of the woodwork was burned. This 
outrage and robbery was committed, some say, the same month on which the 
charter was granted — in the month of September 1502; the Dean of Fortingall 
even says the day after the grant, the 2nd September 1 502, but this is simply 
impossible. The event was one of great local importance ; the laird of Garth 
being the law-breaker, and his cousin, the rightful laird (Sir Robert Menzies), 
who had the oldest and most honourable connection with Fortingall, to whom it 
rightly belonged, was the man assailed. It has also been inferred, from incidental 
notices in the Lord Treasurer's accounts, that the outrage took place at the 
beginning of October ; but the only authentic date given is in a decree against 
Neil Stewart, which says it was in the year 1503. 

After burning what would burn of Castle Menzies and outbuildings, Neil 
Stewart and his band of robbers then proceeded to lay waste the surrounding 
country, and to lift the cattle and horses, and carried off at the same time whatever 
articles of furniture was handy for them to take with them. The Wolf in this 
affair is said to have had many of the cattle-lifters who inhabited the Braes of 
Rannoch assisting him to take Weem Castle, and then to ravish the houses and 
lands of Sir Robert Menzies ; Neil's great prize, however, was Sir Robert the 
knight of Weem, whom he brought as his captive to Garth Castle and cast him 
into its vaulted dungeon, and threatened to starve him to death unless he resigned 
to him his rights to Slios-min and the Abthania of Dull. When the victim was 
reduced to the yielding point by cold and hunger in the dungeon of Garth, there 
was a hitch in the fiendish proceedings on the part of Neil Stewart himself — he 
had overlooked to provide himself with the necessary resignation deeds before- 
hand, and now, through his barbarous actions, he could not for love nor money 
get a limb of the law for fear of him to write them out. It is said that the want 
of these deeds obliged Neil to give his captive food enough to keep him alive 
until his signature could be obtained. Meanwhile, Sir Robert's friends were not 
idle, but from some cause or other a little delay occurred before information of the 
atrocity reached King James IV. When he heard of these outrages a wrathful 
man was James. He lost no time in sending out a peremptory summons to the 
delinquent to set his captive free, and at once deliver himself and possessions into 
the king's hands. — Book of Garth, pp. 171-177. 

The king called out the array of armed men of most of the district between 
the Forth and the Grampians to proceed against the rebel with fire, sword, and 
engines of siege, should he not instantly surrender up his captive, Sir Robert, Garth 

142 THE "RED &> WHITE" BOOK OF MENZIES. [a.d. 1503-1504. 

Castle, and himself unconditionally. Record authority is said to have been 
discovered by Dugal Gregory, which proves that King James in person proceeded 
with a strong force to Kinloch-Rannoch to punish the raider and the squatting 
caterans who had been his men in the Weem raid. Neil, however, although much 
of a madman, was sane enough to understand that it was impossible ' to hold 
Garth Castle — strong as it was considered to be before the days of gunpowder — ■ 
against King James at the head of the feudal array of such an army. He, 
therefore, forced his captive to sign a general remission of claims for damages, 
&c, and then released him. In the civil action which was subsequently raised by 
Sir Robert Menzies, Neil Stewart put in his extorted remission as his reply, but 
the Lords of Council set it aside. His portion of the barony of Fortingall was 
therefore burdened with a total sum of damages and expenses for his burning 
and destroying of the castle and lands of Sir Robert the Menzies. Stewart's 
barony might have redeemed itself, but under Neil's mismanagement it never 
did redeem itself. It is rather surprising that such a strong repressor of wrong- 
doers as King James IV. was should have allowed Neil Stewart to escape with 
life and liberty ; but it is thought that his father-in-law, the Earl of Athole, who 
was grand-uncle of the king, had to strain his influence to the uttermost to save 
Neil from the gallows. Neil, however, found a friend in the Earl of Huntly, who 
helped to satisfy the claims of Sir Robert the Menzies. Neil is said to have 
resigned his part of the barony of Fortingall into the hands of the Earl of Huntly 
in 1 509, and became that nobleman's tenant and vassal ever afterwards. — Book of 
Garth, p. 177. 

Sir Robert the Menzies procured a decree from the Lords of Council against 
Neil Stewart of Garth, on the 16th March 1504. This document is most valuable, 
as it gives a list of the contents of Menzies' baronial Castle of Menzies, which 
may be taken as a most interesting specimen of a Highland baronial castle at the 
end of the fifteenth and beginning of the sixteenth centuries. It certainly is 
the most valuable of the kind we have extant, and throws much light on the arms, 
armour, artillery, clothing, cooking, and other utensils in the castle of the 
chief of such a clan. We here give the decree, which is still retained in the 
Charter Room of Castle Menzies, and illustrates the contents or furnishing of a 
Highland castle in 1500: — 

" Extract decreet by the Lords of Council in favour of Robert Menzies of 
that Ilk, Knight, against Neil Stewart of Forthirgill ' for the wrangivis distructioun 
and downecastin of his mansioun place and fortilice of the Weme, and for the 
birning and destructioun of divers insicht guids and other guids,' committed by 
Stewart in the year 1503. Dated Edinburgh, 16th March 1504. 

In the valuation of the articles stolen or destroyed there are enumerated the 
following : — " 200 lib. for the destruction of the house ; 30 lib. for the ' beddin of 

a.d. 1504.] THE VENERABLE CHIEF. 143 

the said place and certane clathis ;' 10 lib. for three ' stand ' of harness ; 20 lib. 
for twelve ' jakkis ;' 8 lib. for certain ' splentis ;' 14s. for a breast ' splent ;' 28s. for 
two ' sellatis ' and ' gorgeatis ;' 20s. for a howmond ; 40s. for certain steel bonnets ; 
48s. for 24 spears ; 40s. for 4 culverins ; 8 merks for certain bous and arrows ; 
12 merks for certain swords, bucklers, and ' gluvis of plate;' 3 lib. for certain 
' burdeclaithis ' and towels." There follow : pewter vessels, chandeliers, pots, 
cauldrons, pans, "girdillis," spits. The grain is thus valued: 12 merks for 12 
bolls of meal and malt ; 32s. for 2 bolls of wheat ; the chalder of oats with the 
"fodder" is valued at 8 merks, the chalder of bere at 16 merks. The above is 
somewhat abridged, but the following is extended as far as recorded :— 
" ^200 for the destruction of the house (destruction of woodwork, &c). 
£30 for the beddin of the said place and certain claiths. 
,£10 for three stand of harness (complete suits of knight's armour for man 

and horse). 
£20 for twelve ' jakkis ' (coats of steel mail worn by horsemen). 
£8 for certain ' splentis ' (steel armour-plates for shoulders, legs, or arms ; those 

for the legs were called ' leg-splentis '). 
14s. for a breast splent (steel armour-plate for the breast, or breastplate). 
28s. for twa ' sellatis ' (sellatis were the head-pieces of steel worn by the 
foot clansmen), and ' gorgeatis ' (gorgets, the pieces of armour to protect 
the neck or throat). 
20s. for ane howmond (knight's helmet of steel for tournaments). 
40s. for certain stele bonettis (steel helmets worn by leading elansmen, of 
which, according to the sum, there must have been a considerable number). 
48s. for 24 spears. 
40s. for four culverins (culverins— 4 pieces of artillery, 18-pounders) ; a demi- 

culverin being a 9-pounder cannon. 
8 merkis for certain bowis and arrowis. 
12 merkis for certain suerdis (two-handed swords or claymores), bucklaris 

(targes or shields), and ' gloves of plate ' (steel gauntlets or wrist armour). 
£3 for certane burdeclaithis and towels (tartan and woollen cloths, linen 

towels, &c). 
£3 for a pewder wescell. 
£$ for pottis. 
1 os. for chandillaris. 
20s. for pannis. 
20s. for gurdellis. 
8 merks for caldronis. 
6s. 8d. for spetis. 
£10 for the clothing of the said Robert and his servants. 

i 4 4 THE "RED & WHITE" BOOK OF MENZIES. [a.d. 1504. 

^10 for butter and cheese. 

12 merkis for 12 bollis of mele and malt. 

32s. for 2 bollis of wheat. 

54s. for 3 martis. 

40 merks for uthir victuale and gear pertaining to said Robert and his 

£^0 for oxen. 

400 merks for 50 chalders of aittis with the fodder, 12 bollis of beir with the 
fodder, and 16 merks the chalder. 

All byrnt, destroyit, spulzeit, and takin away by the said Nele and his 
accomplices, A.D. 1502." 

To the foregoing were added large sums of money as compensation for the 
loss accruing to Sir Robert Menzies for the lands of Weem, Cambusarney, 
Apnadull, &c, being laid waste, and also as the value of a number of horses, mares, 
&c, with their furniture, carried off at the same time. The whole amount was 
therefore declared to be a real burden upon Stewart's barony of Garth. 

The old castle of Weem, or rather Castle Menzies, for it was known by both 
names before the burning of it by Neil Stewart — in the same way the chiefs of 
the Menzies' were known as " Menzies of Menzies of Castle Menzies," or " Menzies 
of Weem of Weem Castle," which titles were both synonymous. There is not the 
slightest doubt but that the present old portion of Castle Menzies is the same 
which was burned by Neil Stewart, as only the wooden parts of it could burn, 
such as the roof and part of the floors, most of these being arched over from below 
in solid stonework, and then covered with a wooden floor on the upper side. 
Any one who will carefully examine this grand old baronial pile, which is one of 
the finest Scotch baronial structures in Scotland, will come to the conclusion that 
the walls and general building could not have been much injured by the fire, and 
are of much older date than 1500. The outer walls of Castle Menzies are from 
6 feet to 7 feet thick ; some of the inner walls being from 4 to 8 feet thick, and 
have small secret rooms within them where valuables could be kept safely. The 
many documents in the Charter Room of Castle Menzies, which belong to various 
periods before the fire, were never affected by it ; although, no doubt, any loose 
papers, documents, or titles not in the secret place for such, perished in the 
flames. The reader will have observed that the charters given in this work, and 
still in the Charter Room of Castle Menzies, date as far back as the reign of 
King Alexander III. and Robert the Bruce, as also in the reign of King David, 
his son, from about 1332 to 1350, and with many transumpts of other charters 
prior to 1439, when there was a duplicate set compiled for reference. This set of 
transumpts, which is very complete, is still preserved in the Charter Room of 
Castle Menzies, being untouched by the fire ; this, therefore, confirms what has 


1 h 











a.d. 1510.] THE VENERABLE CHIEF. 145 

been said, that only part of the woodwork of the castle was burned. It is 
further confirmed by the charter granted by King James IV. to Sir Robert 
Menzies erecting his whole possessions into the one free Barony of Menzies, which 
charter says " the temporary or partial burning of Weem." We give a translation 
of this charter, which was granted 2nd October 15 10, and is as follows : — 

"At Edinburgh, 2nd October 15 10, James IV. The king grants to Robert 
Menzies of Menzies, Knight, the whole lands and barony of Ennoch, with the fishings 
of its waters, castle, buildings, &c, with the patronage of the chapel and the altar of 
the blessed Virgin Mary, with the ecclesiastical church and parish of Durrisdere 
in the shire of Dumfreis, with the whole moore, pasture lands and game, &c, with 
the right of patronage to gift and donations of the Church of Culter in the shire 
of Lanark. Also the whole lands and barony of Weme, viz., the whole lands 
of Weme, Abirfaldybeg, Ardferelemore, Ferlegar, Rawire, Dalrawyre, Glassy, 
Kynnaldy, Glengolantyne, Cumrie, Achillus, Fernachti, Merynche, Edromuk ; and 
the whole lands and thanage of Crannyk and Court of Crannych, Auchmore, 
Duncrosk, Candknok, with the Roras, and Glenlyoun, with the whole fishings of 
that river. The patronage to call and donations of the Church of Weme, and the 
office of Toschochdereaschipe of Artholony in the shire of Perth. The whole 
lands and court of Menzeiscroft, with (castle or) house in shire of Kinros, which 
barony of Ennoch and half the barony of Cultir possessed by the said Robert and 
his heirs, the king recognises his right to feu, let or alienate considerable parts 
of the same without his consent ; and these, with others, the said Robert personally 
resigns. And the whole of which the king, for good services and many other 
meritorious reasons, gives himself by this charter and indenture for the temporary 
and partial burning of the Weme and surrounding district, which was by evil 
malefactors destroyed, grants the whole possessions, and incorporates them into 
the one free baronia of Menzies, and castle and mansion of Weme as the Castle 
of Menzeis. Fortification and holding to be held and possessed by said Robert, 
and heritably to heirs male of the surname and arms of Menzeis related by blood, 
which failing, legitimately descending to the nearest heirs of the surname — 
ratified. For Ennoch three parts of the eighth peacefully at the capital of 
Dumfriesshire ; for Cultir as is general in the shire of Lanark ; for the others 
the third part of a third peacefully at the capital of the shire of Perth, second 
ward, &c, with all surroundings, with free and full possession conveyed before 
witnesses." — Register of the Great Seal, p. 753, 3507. 

The shock which Lady Menzies received that night when Castle Menzies was 
sacked, from the effects of the alarm caused by Neil Stewart and his wild caterans 
rushing into her bed-chamber during the night with burning brands, and claymores 
in their hands, who dragged her out of bed in a brutal way to see their victim, her 
husband, Sir Robert the Menzies, half-dressed and bound with ropes, guarded 

146 THE "RED &> WHITE" BOOK OF MENZIES. [a.d. 1502-1508. 

by a number of brawny robbers, who, after insulting him before her, they marched 
off towards Garth — they then turned Lady Menzies and her maids out of doors 
into that dark and stormy night, where, half-clad, and fainting with excitement, 
she was so overpowered that she almost succumbed on the spot. Her maids and 
the few clansmen who happened to be in the castle gave her all the support and 
help they could, and had her conveyed to a place of safety, where she lingered in 
sore distress until the time when Sir Robert regained his freedom. She did not 
long survive the shock, as she died a short time after. Sir Robert had her remains 
interred with all honours near the high altar of the Auld Kirk o' Weem, into the 
back of which was inserted a beautiful sculptured panel, with a Latin inscription 
to her memory, under which there is a sculptured escutcheon of the arms of her 
house: 1st and 4th, a fesse chequy ; 2nd and 3rd, a lion rampant, debruised of a 
ribbon in bend. The inscription reads : — 



Translation : 


Notwithstanding what has been said and written about Sir Robert's capture 
and imprisonment, it is also traditional that he was liberated a few days after by 
his eldest son Robert, who, with his two brothers and all the force of the 
clan that could be got together under the circumstances of such a surprise, 
attacked Garth Castle with such irresistible fury that they soon battered a breach 
in its north wall — which is still to be seen — and thereby gained an entrance. Neil, 
the Wolf, escaped by a small door at the other side, and slipped down the rocks 
into the river and, under cover, got off. The Menzies' gave what would burn of 
Garth Castle to the flames, and left it a dismantled and ruined structure, which 
it still remains. 

King James IV. — having marched into the Highlands at the head of an army 
to liberate Sir Robert the Menzies from the dungeon of Garth and the jaws of 
death — must have made himself familiar with Highland life and character ; indeed, 
it is stated that he delighted in Highland songs and music, which made him 
popular among the people. As a Highlander, he is said to have talked the Gaelic 
almost continuously. Between 1502 and 1508, we find recorded in the Exchequer 
Rolls the fees paid by Sir Robert Menzies to the Crown from his lands, &c. In 
the following record we have considerable detail, not given in former records, and 
which translated reads : — 

" By letters under the Privy Seal, 1st September 1502. Rental of the lordship 
of Apnadule, £12, 13s. 4d., balanced and accounted for and paid by Roberto 
Menzeis of Menzies, in full possession by Royal Letters under the Great Seal, 

a.d. 1502-1508.] THE VENERABLE CHIEF. 147 

paying yearly from these lands 32s. From Aiichnavaid Candloucke Js., and 
estimated from the outward dwellings of Drummond ' Hill,' and Ruvane, 
Glencoich, 4s. 4d. Five other dwellings belong to Duntandlaucli in the earldom 
of Athole, as the said balance and returns show thirty dwellings in number 
belonging to Robert Menzies of that Ilk at the end of the annual feast of 
Penthecostes, about which time in future, every 5th year, payments are to be made 
of £9 for the number of lands entered, and other lands, payments to commence 
on the present date, and a second payment at the feast of Sancti Martini after 
the feast of Penthecostez, and for the said payment of half-dues of every land, as 
in the Register Letters of the Privy Seal, 1st September 1502; and the proceeds 
of the lands possessed by ' Robertus Menzeis,' with bailieship over his possessions 
and tenants, and over all the people inhabiting as under his free letters Rannaucht, 
namely, Dawne, Kinclanchir, the Tiva Canunysyrochtis, Ardlaroch, Kilqulwnane, 
Larayne, Ardlar, Laragan, Islands of Lochranacli, the Lochs of Ramiack, Frechy ; 
also over the lochs and islands of the same possessions, ,£20, with full possession 
conceded to Roberto Menzeis by charter from the king, and a payment yearly 
of £30. Entry to the same lands commence at this date, and the first payment 
at Penthecostez, and timely payments on 15th, and this regularly and in succession, 
as stated, in the month of September yearly. 1 502 to 1 508." — Exchequer Rolls, 
p. 612, vol. xii. 

The prompt and regular payment of their fees by the Menzies' for their far- 
stretching lands to the government of King James IV., was bound to gain for Sir 
Robert Menzies the favour of his king ; likewise the way in which he endeavoured 
to keep the country in peace, gained for him the approbation of all true 

" Drummond," or Drummond Hill — the lands and dwellings of which are 

referred to in the foregoing returns of fees paid to the Crown from them by Sir 

Robert the Menzies, in 1502 to 1508 — is the magnificent hill standing at the west 

end of the Appin of the Menzies', and is one of the features of beauty in the 

landscape. It stands right above Comrie Castle like a guard, and, at a distance, 

appears as if it meant to prevent any passage from Strath Tay. On its north side 

runs the river Lyon, sweeping past Comrie Castle at the base of the mountain, and 

joining the river Tay a short distance east as it flows from Loch Tay past its 

southern side. On the north-east shoulder of Drummond Hill are the remains of 

a large and strong fortress. It had been a parallelogram in form ; its walls are 

of prodigious thickness, and were constructed without lime or mortar, but the 

stones have been regularly coursed and banded. The precipitousness of the lofty 

part of the rock on which its remains stand made it all but inaccessible on the 

south and east sides, on which the walls have been built at the edge of the rock. 

The north and west sides had been defended by trenches and other outworks, 

L 2 


THE "RED cV WHITE" BOOK OF MENZIES. [a.d. 1502-1508. 

which may yet be traced. The walls are 9 feet thick at their base standing at 
C D, and must have been 12 or 15 feet high, and are remarkable for the huge 
dimensions of the stones they are constructed with. These have been built in such a 
way that their dead weight, from their great size, has kept them immovable for 
over a thousand years at least. On the west side of the fort there is a hollow, at 
the bottom of which is a spring of water 25 feet deep, from which its ancient 
Meinerich defenders drew their supply. — Transactions, Society of Antiquaries of 
Scot., p. 360-1, vol. 1888-9. 



It is thought to have been erected and used by the ancient Menzies' when 
they held the mines under the Crown ; although there are other traditions, 
that a certain son of the Abbot of Dunkeld named MacTual — whose name is 
of frequent occurrence in Celtic legends and songs — lived there about 865. 
This abbot may have been one of the scholastic Menzies' of that time. Be that 
as it may, this stronghold was of great importance to Clan Menzies during 
the troublous times of Wallace and Bruce, as it stood in the centre of the 

A.D. 1502-1508. 



Menzies' possessions, and from it, looking east, a view of the whole Appin or 
strath, as well as Grandtully Castle, Aberfeldy, Castle Menzies, Weem, the 
Appin-na-Dliu ; as also Garth Castle and Carnban Castle to the north and north- 
west ; the castle of the Isle of Loch Tay, and Castle Mains at Ardeonaig to the 
south-west — all these, with Castle Comrie, could, by a beacon-fire on Drummond 
Hill, be alarmed, and the whole force of Clan Menzies, cadets and followers, 
could be brought out in a few hours. In the time of Wallace and Bruce this is 
believed to have greatly assisted them when a force was wanted for any sudden 
attack or urgent service, the whole country within signal of Drummond Hill being 
held by the Siol na Meinerich. This old fortress is known by the Gaelic 
name of Tun-auch-Tliual. The hill of Drummond being one of the finest for 
outline in the whole region, it has been an object of admiration to the artist 
and poet ; and it is of it and " The Vale of Menzies " that the Perthshire bard 
thus speaks : — 

" With beauty, basking in a blaze 
Of loving light ! Sweet, quiet Weem ! 
Fair as the ocean-bird that plays 
Round Rock May ; how brightly gleam 
Your hamlet walls, 'neath crag and tree, 
Abrupt and leafy ! Fair to see 
Are ' Menzies Ancient ' woods so gay 
With varied green, stretching away 
O'er Drummond Hill, whose graceful sweep 
Is circled with a single streak 
Of silvery mist. 

Each glaring hill-top brightly shines, 

A mimic /Etna, with its crest 

Of curving flame. The forest gleams 

One twinkling glow of varied hue. 

The frightened night-bird, hastening, screams, 

And seeks the dells of Appin Dhu ; 

The startled deer on Dmmmond Hill 

Crowd, wondering at the distant show ; 

And 'wildered eagles, hurrying, yell, 

Beyond the wilds of Ben-y-Glo ! " 

— H. Miller. 

" The district of Rannoch, for which the ancient charters of the Menzies' were 
renewed in 1502-10, formed at this time the south-west section of the Caledonian 
Forest, which extended from Glencoe to Braemar, and from Glenlyon to Spey in 
Inverness-shire, covering a tract of upwards of 2100 square miles. A remnant of 
it still remains in hoary pines, which have weathered the storms of countless 
winters, and are scattered at wide intervals over the region ; there are also patches 
of native Rannoch fir, with a stretch of about 10 miles of birch along the north 
side of the loch. Under ground are trunks of giant oak, and many roots 
of birch and fir keeping possession of their old seats. Sir Robert Menzies 
had also" in his list of possessions Loch Errochd, around which were many 
broken men of the Clan Gregor ; but, unless when led out by men like 
Neil Stewart of Garth, they were always at peace with Clan Menzies, whom 
they considered kinsmen. Concerning Loch Errochd — which is in the north- 
west of the barony (now parish) of Fortingall, and stretches into Laggan, 
Inverness-shire — there is a curious tradition, which says that the space which the 

150 THE "RED cV WHITE" BOOK OF MENZIES. [a.d. i 502-1 50s. 

loch covers was once dry land, and formed a parish called Feadail. In a single 
night the parish subsided many feet in consequence of some terrible subterranean 
convulsion ; and that the whole population, with their cattle, houses, and fields, 
were engulfed in the lake which was thus created. It further states, that for a 
long period the church of Feadail, and other such remarkable objects might be 
seen, on a clear summer day, at the bottom of the lake. Under protection of the 
Menzies, after Culloden, Prince Charlie hid for a time in the wilds around Loch 
Errochd, where there is a cave called Prince Charlie's Cave." — Historical Scenes of 
Perthshire, pp. 434-5. 

" Innerlochy " — mentioned in the following, but now known as Inverlochy — is 
an estate in the parish of Kilmonivaig, on the left influx of the river Lochy, 2 
miles north-east of Fort William ; for these lands Sir Robert paid a Crown fee 
of 4s. These lands seem to have been connected to those of Loch Rannoch ; in 
that case the Menzies' lands would extend to the arm of the sea, Loch Linnhe : 
this fee, with others, was paid. 

On the 2 1st day of July 1503, Sir Robert is recorded as paying his fees 
into the Royal Exchequer, as the following translation shows : — 

"Edinburgh, 21st July 1503 — from August 1502. The amount of rent, half 
of £72, and 100 salmons, for continual possession of the lordship of Kindevin, 
of the yearly value of £2, 12s. 3d., of the possessions of the lordship of Apnadull 
and the lands of Commisarnot, and such number of lands conveyed with full 
possession to Roberto Menzeis of Weyme, by letters under the Great Seal, paying 
yearly thirty pounds from the said lands, and such reckonings with payments in 
future of twenty pounds, with further sums of a similar thirty pounds of the said 
lands of Apnadull, as agreed to by Robert Menzies, and for five pounds yearly 
after the feast of Penthecostez, which amounts are to be paid yearly — double 
former — namely, sixty pounds over the agreed burdens ; other similar amounts as 
reckoned half, further, and of £96, 16s. of Stukmartis of Desschier and Toyer, with 
both sides, and outer parts of Loch of Taya on this side the twenty-merk land, 
both his, with buildings, prion's (priory), and conventns (convent), Cartusie, within 
the shire of Perth, and of £9, 6s. 8d. of Glenlioun, and the .£18 of Forthirgill, and 
the ,£20 of Rannach, and fee of said lands of Rannadi belonging to Robert 
Menzies, for thirty pounds yearly, in full possession, and such reckonings to 
be burdened yearly with tithes libis, and a further sum, with other parts of rental, and 
the ,£5 of Drumfin and Drumquhassill in Apnadull, including burdens stated, and 
the £\Z, 6s. 8d. of the holdings of Cluny — meadows, buildings, and surrounding 
lands — the same occupied by facobum Hering, and the lis. yearly returns of 
Kinblathuiount, and the 22s. of Trosoppy, and the 5s. 4d. yearly returns of 
Monorgund, and the 4s. of Innerlochy, for giving eight broad arrows, and the 
5s. for giving one pound of peper, the high-lying lands of Rait, both the said free 

a.d. 1502-1508.] THE VENERABLE CHIEF. 151 

debts, by the feast of Pentliecostez, with the humble people's payments ; and 
the ^95, 6s. 8d. of the holdings and lands in Strathbrawn, the twelve houses or 
buildings of which the reckoned sum of such burden IIIF, £18, 7s. 8d., ioo salmones, 
16 stukmarte, and in further reckoning with burden over sixty pounds, further 
sums with the other accessible superiorities. The sum total payable from the 
cultivated or arable lands, I m IP, £49, 3s. 8d. v M xii marte, vii salmones." — 
Exchequer Rolls, p, 124, vol. xii. 

This even gives a greater list than any previous entries of the possessions of 
the Menzies', and is almost similar to the returns which showed the extensive 
lands held by them under Chief Sir Angus the Menzies. A short description of 
a few of these places will convey some idea as to their position, extent, &c : — 

Drumfin — from the lands of which a fee or tax of £5 was paid to the Crown 
by Sir Robert the Menzies — is now called " Fincastle," which was a district in his 
lordship of Dull, and still within its parish. It stretches along the northern banks 
of Loch Tummel and the river Tummel. It is said to take its name from the 
great number of ancient castles with which it abounds ; or, probably, from The 
Fein, or Mein, which were a body of trained soldiers in the time of Fingal, 
thus explaining them to be the castles of the Fein or Mein, from whom the 
military race of Clan Mein-erich, or Mein-gies, are said to descend. One of the 
meanings given to the name Menzies by Smybert and others is, " A body of armed 
men." Drumfin, or Fincastle, has also a river of the same name running through 
the district ; the braes undulating downwards on each side form the Glen of 
Fincastle — this glen formed the north-eastern boundary of the Menzies' country. 

Drumquhassill. The fees from these lands to the Crown are included 
in the foregoing £%, and are in the Menzies' lordship of Dull, and are now called 
" Derculich ;" they lie about 2 miles east of Weem — in Strath Tay — the Appin of 
Menzies. They take their name from Loch Dercluich, from which flows Dercluich 
burn, forming a small glen as it flows towards the river Tay, which is its southern 
boundary. These lands extend northward till they join those of Fincastle at the 

Cluny. These lands are on the west march with those of Derculich — also in 
the Menzies' lordship of Dull, and take in from the river Tay to Loch Tay. They 
march jointly with Derculich to the Tummel, and are traversed by the burn of 
Cluny, which rises in the brae of Cluny, and in its passage down the braes 
presents many picturesque features. 

Rait, the lands of which are now called " Logierait," and form that parish, 
march with the foregoing, now forming some peculiar intersections through the 
dividing up of these lands ; but at this time the lands of Rait, with those of 
Derculich, Cluny, and Glassy, formed the whole north bank of the river Tay, from 
Ballinluig to about a mile east from Weem, and then stretched over to Loch 

IS 2 THE "RED &• WHITE" BOOK OF MENZIES. [a.d. 1504. 

Tummel, which, with it and the river Tummel for their boundary, gave the 
Menzies' possession of the whole country from the Tummel on the east, to 
Inverlochy on the west of Loch Rannoch, Loch Laidon and Loch Tay, Glenlyon, 
Glen Lochay, and Glendochart — a distance, in a straight line from the point of 
Rait to their border at Tyndrum, of about 43 miles. As a parish district, it is now 
intermixed with Fortingall and Dull parishes ; in the latter it has a detached 
section, 1 1 V? miles to the east, surrounded on all sides by Dull parish. Its 
landmarks soften into amenity and beauty towards the river Tay, but elsewhere 
it is wildly pastoral. Towards the Tay, however, it presents a cultivated and 
ornamental aspect, foiled by lofty grounds at its centre. On the other side of the 
Tummel it is joined by the Menzies' lands of Dowally, for which Chief Angus the 
Menzies paid fees. Along the Tay is a beautiful, broad belt of arable land, forming 
Strath Tay, and finely adorned with wood. The area, with that on the Tummel, 
is about 3000 acres. 

Sir Robert the Menzies, on the 23rd July 1504, paid to King James IV. at 
Stirling the fees due the government from his vast tracts of land, which we find 
recorded by the following translation : — 

"Stirling, 23rd July 1504, from 21st July 1503. Also the sums paid of half 
the £22, and 100 salmon for possessing fully the lordship of Kinclevin at the two 
terms such reckoned. And the ,£13, 13s. 3d. from his possessions and lordship 
of Apnadull, the good lands of Cammisamot. And of .£30 from such and the 
same free lands of Apnadull conceded to Roberto Menzeis of Weme, in his full 
possession, by letter of our lord the king under the Great Seal, for the sum fixed. 
And also .£30 from the possessions and aforesaid lands of Apnadull, the terms 
reckoned and continued to said Roberto Menzeis for duplicate holding as chief 
in rental. Also the ^30 possessions of Rannach, belonging to said Roberto 
Menzies of Menzies, for same sum. Also the £5 of Drumfin and Drumquhassill 
in Apnadull, and others, with burdens aforesaid. Also the £96, 16s. from the 
markets of Desschier and Toyer, with surrounding parts and districts of Taya, and 
others, with fairs, markets, and lands of the island, with buildings, priory, and 
convent and lordship of Cartusie within Perth. Also the £\\, 6s. 8d. of Glenlioun. 
Also the 1 8s. of Fortliirgill And the £13, 6s. 8d. of the estates of Cluny, and 
meadows, holdings, and surrounding lands of the same, once occupied by the 
church of Dunkeldensem. Also the 12s. yearly sum of Kinblatlinwnt. And the 
20s. of Torsoppy. And the 5s. 3d. annual discharge of Monorgund. And the 3s. 
of Drumlochy for giving eight broad arrows. Also 5s., and giving one pound of 
piperis, for all and full possession of lands of Rait, with the said free land's fees, 
by the feast of Penthecostes, from tenant people, accounted and reckoned, not 
responsible for the ,£95, 6s. 8d. from his holdings and lands of Strathbrazvn, the 
annual amount out of these said lands, bound closely within one lordship. The 

A.jx 1504.] THE VENERABLE CHIEF. 153 

king confirms at castle of Stirling by charter under the Great Seal, the 23rd 
September 1503," &c. &c. — Exchequer Rolls, pp. 231-2, vol. xii. 

It may be well to explain that " the surrounding parts and districts of the 
Taya," mentioned in the foregoing list, meant all the surrounding country, including 
the Menzies castle on the island of Loch Tay, the site of the village of Ken more, 
with Balloch — now the grounds of Taymouth Castle, where the Menzies' had, at 
this time, a small tower, which got the name of Bellycht. We give a short 
description of some of the other lands in this record : — 

KlNBLATHMONT — now Kinblythmount — for the lands of which Sir Robert the 
Menzies paid fees, or feus, to the Crown, amounting to 12s. annually. They stretch 
from the coast of Forfar, a few miles south of Montrose, inland towards the lands 
of Cluny, with which they might have been linked in the chain of Menzies 
possessions. On these lands stood the once royal castle of " Red Castle," said to 
have been built by William the Lion, and used by the Scottish kings as a hunting 
seat — from which these lands and others in the district take their name — 
Kinblythmount being the " king's-blyth-mount." 

MONORGUND — now Monorgan — also recorded on the list of the Menzies 
possessions, the feu to the Crown being 5s. 3d., the lands of which stand to the 
east of Cluny and Kinclaven, stretching a little south of Cupar-Angus, and to the 
east, apparently forming another link seaward with the above and others of the 
Menzies lands. There are still the remains at Monorgan of one of their fine 
orchards, being even now reckoned one of the best in the Carse of Gowrie : it has 
been long famous for its fruit. There are also the vestiges of an old Menzies 

TORSOPPY is another of the districts, for which Sir Robert the Menzies paid 
an annual fee of 20s. to the Crown. These lands are now represented by Glen 
Turret and the district of Monivaird, which is the Gaelic for the " high-lands-of- 
Menzies" — Mayns', Mains', Meins', Menis', Monis', being different Gaelic spellings of 
the singular for Menzies. The district of Torsoppy — now Monivard and Glen Turret 
— at the time they were held by the Menzies', were noted for the rugged turret-like 
heights and rocks of Glen Turret, and the high and fertile grounds stretching from 
its mouth towards Comrie, Crieff, and Methven, from which large quantities of 
grain were raised, giving an abundant supply of straw, for which these lands were 
called Torsoppy — in Gaelic tor meaning the tower-like heights of the glen, and 
soppy, the straw or grain raised around Monzievard. This whole district bristles 
with the name of its old owners, which has been given to the village of Menzies — ■ 
now " Monzie," the falls of Menzies — now the falls of Monzie ; the Brae of 
Menzies — now called the Brae of Monzie — and Monzie Castle. The letter O may 
have been inserted by Angus or Sir Robert the Menzies to make a distinction 
between Castle Menzies and Monzie Castle. The whole district was before and 

1 54 THE "RED &•> WHITE" BOOK OF MENZIES. [a.d. 1504-1505. 

at this time included in the Menzies' lordships of Weem and Dull. The length of 
the district, as now divided under Monzie, is 9 miles long by about 8 miles broad, 
with an area of about 48 miles. Its southern boundary is the skirt or lower 
declivities of the Grampians, from which it runs northwards to the river Tay. The 
district of Torsoppy formed the south-western boundary of the Menzies country, 
including Glen Turret, which is about 7 miles long, and is traversed by the 
rivulet Turret, flowing from Loch Turret, as part of the district of Torsoppy : all 
this, with Glen Almound, was taxed to Sir Alexander the Menzies. 

Drumlochy, given in these returns of the chief of the Menzies', comprehended 
what is now called Glen Lochy, and its surrounding heights and district, which 
commenced at Finlarig, the old castle of the Menzies' ; its glen being a narrow 
vale along the course of the Lochy, extending for about 12 miles in the form of 
the arc of a circle from west to east, with its concave side to the north. Under 
the title Drumlochy was included all the surrounding high country which descends 
towards Tyndrum, from whence again commences West Glenlochy, stretching 
7 miles farther westward to Glenurchy — the fees for the whole to the Crown 
being 3s. 

Cluny — now Clunie parish — is a stretch of land east of Dunkeld, 9 miles 
long by about 4 miles broad. The surface is very much diversified, comprising 
part of the lower Grampians and a small part of Strathmore. There is a romantic 
mass of trap-rock, about 600 feet high, called " the Craig of Clunie ; " another 
feature is Loch Clunie, from which flows the river Lunan for about 12 miles, 
somewhat like the shape of a bended bow. This stretch of land would seem to 
have joined to the other Menzies possessions of Dowally above Dunkeld at Inver, 
for which Chief Angus the Menzies' possessed and paid Crown fees. The fees upon 
"Cluny" at this time were .£13, 6s. 8d., and included the lands which had been 
held by the church of Dunkeld. 

King James IV., in order to sustain the magnificence of his court, and defray 
the expenses of his tournaments, and other splendid military exhibitions, on the 
occasion of his marriage with Margaret, daughter of Henry III. of England, in 
1503, imposed these fees upon the lands which were held of the Crown. His doing 
so has thus given us the details of what the Menzies' possessions were, which we 
otherwise might never have had. It was also during this time that Duncan 
Campbell of Glenurchy was secretly inciting Neil Stewart — who had been driven 
out of Garth — and the other outlawed members of his cateran followers, to acts of 
robbery on the Menzies' possessions of Rannoch, with the purpose of embarrassing 
the collecting of the Crown fees, and bringing Sir Robert the Menzies into such 
difficulties that he would be forced to sell him a portion of his estates of Loch 
Tay to raise these dues, and which lands he saw he could not take by force 
of arms, or yet by his misrepresentations to King James, with whom Sir Robert the 

a.d. 1505-1510.] THE VENERABLE CHIEF. 155 

Menzies was a great favourite. Under these circumstances " the Venerable " Sir 
Robert found it difficult to collect sufficient money to pay his fees for his Rannoch 
possessions : this he represented to King James personally, who at once made him 
a remission, which is thus recorded : — 

A translation. " And of the said holdings and lands of ' Rannach,' extending 
to thirty pounds in yearly payment, of Roberto Menzeis of Menzies are remitted 
to said Roberto, the yearly reckoning of them discharged before any payment be 
made to Johanne Strievelin, accountant of Rolls, by the wish and witness of the 
king, above accounted £16. Also the duplicate holdings of Apnadull, assigned to 
the said Roberto, extending to £30, and less the market deductions to said Roberto 
Menzies the yearly amount of the duplicate holding of Cammisarnot, extending to 
^20 per year, similarly remitted to the same Roberto off yearly account as 
annually before this account, £70, 6s. 8d. Also for discharge to said Johanni 
Strivelin, accountant of Rolls, in thirty-six pounds, thirteen shillings and four 
pence ; for the said Robertum Menzies in thirty pounds, thirteen shillings and four 
pence of the estates belonging to ' Roberti Menzeis.' Said Rolls show them also 
discharged as above reckoned, £\, 6s. 8d. for same received, &c. &c, 1504." 
— Exchequer Rolls, p. 234, vol. xii. 

Again this consideration of James IV. to Sir Robert is extended to him, 
as recorded in the Exchequer Rolls of Scotland the following year, giving him a 
continued remission and discharge from payments of fees or dues to the Crown, 
owing to the lawless state of the Highlands, a translation of which we give as 
follows : — ■ 

" 1505. And for discharge made to said James, accountant of Rolls, for 
Robertum Menzeis of Weyme, of his holdings and lands as agreed to at the final 
reckoning, exactly entered in Rolls, of a fixed discharge of forty pounds, as above 
accounted for, £11, for reasons agreed. Also, by discharge made to Johanni 
Strivelin, then accountant of Rolls, in twenty-three shillings and four pence, for 
the same Robertum Menzies, of said holdings as stated by letters as in money, 
such writings showing above accounted £20, 1 3s. 3d. And the same off the other 
lands of Appnadull, Cammisarnot, and Rannach, as agreement made by Roberto 
Menzeis, extending to sixty pounds, three shillings and four pence, remitted by 
the lord the king to said Roberto Menzies — Lord Bishop of Aberdeen and the 
Abbot of Dunfermlin, witnesses. Remitted above account of the yearly payment, 
£60, 3s. 3d., &c. &c." — Exchequer Rolls, p. 301, vol. xii. 

It was during the tournaments held at the court of King James IV. that the 
chief of Clan Menzies first had the right conferred on him to use supporters to his 
arms, then first introduced into Scotland ; these were two savages, girded round 
the head and loins with ash or laurel — tradition says this was as a reward for the 
capture of some savages by Clan Menzies in their ancient Caledonian forests. 

156 THE "RED & WHITE" BOOK OF MENZIES. [a.d. 1510-1511. 

It is traditional that Sir Robert Menzies, for the purpose of getting a larger 
population settled on his Rannoch estates, and also to strengthen his tenants 
against the continued attacks of the lawless Highlanders or caterans in the district, 
came to an agreement with the Earl of Huntly — whose daughter his son and heir 
had married — to the effect that he would let to the Earl of Huntly for a period 
of years certain of his lands in Rannoch, during which time the earl bound himself 
to people the district with the best and most obedient tenants that could be found. 
— Book of Glenlyon, p. 158. 

This is borne out by a letter from the king to Sir Robert the Menzies, still in 
the Charter Room of Castle Menzies, and is to this effect : — 

" Letter by King James the Fourth, under the Privy Seal, granting liberty to 
Robert Menzes of that Ilk, Knight, to alienate or wadset ten pounds worth of 
land of old extent without danger of damage or recognition, to be held of himself 
or of the Crown. Edinburgh, 23rd February 1508." — Contemporary Copy, Castle 
Menzies Charter Room, No. 30. 

Then, following his letting part of the Rannoch lands to Earl of Huntly, he 
further grants, in 15 10, in liferent, the lands of Drumcrosk, as follows : — 

"At Edinburgh, 24th August 15 10. James IV., the king, confirms a charter 
by Robert Menzeis of Menzies, Knight, Lord Baron of Weyme, which, for a 
certain sum of money rendered, conveys and alienates, with consent of the king, 
the old dwelling of facob Redeheuch of Tulichedill, heirs excepted, and assigns the 
lands of Dromcrosk, extending annually as an 8-merk land of old extent, with 
river, fishings of same in his lordship of Glenlochane and barony of Weyme, county 
of Perth, which the same James holds off the said Robert (Menzeis) — its hereditary 
possessor and holder of the Crown — in full possession. Witnesses : Robert 
Menzeis, Knight, son to and heir-apparent ; And. Wardrapar, Walt. Lichtone of 
Ullishavin, Walt. Chepman, burgess of Edinburgh ; Wil. Menzeis, &c, and others." 
— Reg. Great Seal, p. 752, vol. xviii. 

This William Menzies is the second son of Sir Robert the Menzies, who signs 
this document as one of the witnesses. 

The principal residence of " The Venerable " Sir Robert the Menzies, after 
the partial burning of Castle Menzies, was at the Menzies castle on the island of 
Loch Tay, which was a place of great strength at this time. The old Menzies 
tower of Belloch was simply a place to land at safely, under its protection ; this 
island home was also the favourite residence of Chief Sir Angus the Menzies, Sir 
Robert's predecessor. It was here that Duncan Campbell of Glenurchy made 
such profuse declarations of friendship on his many visits to the chief of Clan 
Menzies, with whom he did everything possible to ingratiate himself into his 
favour, with the object of renting the lands of Crannoch, and also with the hope 
that Sir Robert might appoint him his bailie of the same — -Campbell's secret 

a.d. 1511-1512.] THE VENERABLE CHIEF. 157 

purpose being to get a long lease, and thereby obtain firm hold of these lands, and 
then to drive out his enemies, the Clan Gregor, who had been the kindly tenants 
of the Menzies' from the very start of their race, and were considered to be 
descended from the same royal line and house of Fergus. During all the ages 
which had passed before this time, there is no record or tradition of there ever 
being any difficulty between the MacGregors and their kinsmen the Menzies' ; and 
it was not until the crafty Campbells had a footing on the banks of Loch Tay, as the 
vassals and bondsmen followers of the chief of the Menzies', that they showed what 
they wanted. Their motto to the Menzies' was, at this time, " We will follow thee." 
Duncan Campbell of Glenurchy, by his duplicity, succeeded in disarming Sir Robert's 
suspicions, who did not expect any treachery from this source. Sir Robert, 
however, was prevailed upon to grant him a life-lease of Crannoch, the chief 
reserving all his prior rights, fees, and annuals as lord superior of Crannoch and 
the whole surrounding country. This he granted at the Menzies castle on the 
isle of Loch Tay, on the 1 8th September 1 5 1 1 , which reads thus : — 

"At Edinburgh, 19th September 15 11, James IV. The king confirms a 
charter of Robert Menzeis of Menzeis, Knight, who, for the quarter sum (4th) of its 
money rental regularly paid, conveys and lets to Duncan Campbell of Glenurquhy, 
Knight, heirs excepted, and assigns the lands of Crandyncht, with river fishings, 
lying within the baronia of Menzeis in the shire of Perth, to same Duncan. 
Priority and superiority reserved to the said Robert over these tenements for 
alienating the same, by which this is concluded by him as the holder of the 
Crown in full possession," before witnesses : " Dugallo Johneson and James 
MacGregour, notro publicos " (the latter was afterwards the famous Dean of 
Lismore). "At the island of Loch Tay, 18th September 15 n." — Reg. Great 
Seal, p. 788, vol. vii. 

Only two years before this event, while the Menzies' were assembled, on the 
call of their chief, to hold high holiday at the Menzies castle on the island of 
Loch Tay, it being Palm Sunday, and the festivities at their height, when the 
whole company were alarmed by the cries of fire ! It was found that, owing to the 
carelessness of the servants, the castle had taken fire. This event is thus recorded 
in the chronicle of Fortingall : — " The island of Lochtay was burned down through 
the negligence of servants on Palm Sunday, 1509." The damage to the castle 
could not have been great, as we see from the foregoing that it was then 
inhabited by Sir Robert in 151 1, when letting the lands of Crannoch to Campbell. 

On the occasion of the marriage of the young chief of Clan Menzies with the 
daughter of the Earl of Huntly — Lady Christian Gordon — his father, the Chief 
Sir Robert the Menzies, on the 31st October 15 12, granted to him the large extent 
of lands lying at the west end of Loch Tay — then known as Kynnaldy, now called 
Kinnell — which embraced Killin at this time, and also the lands of Moreynche — 

158 THE " RED & WHITE" BOOK OF MENZIES. [a.d. 1512-1513. 

now called Morenish. Under these two names were included the whole west end of 
Loch Tay and the places now known as Achmore, Finlarig and its castle, Cloichern, 
and other places in the surrounding district, including Glendochart, and with these 
lands went the fishings, &c. We give a translation of the charter as under : — 

"At Edinburgh, 1st September, 15 12, James IV. The king confirms a 
charter of Robert Menzeis of Menzies, Knight, who concedes to his son and heir, 
Roberto Menzeis, Knight, and Cristine Gurdun, his wife, the lands of Kynnaldy ; 
with water fishings, extending to 20 merks, of old extent, and 10 merks of 
Moreynche, with river fishings, valued at 10 merks, of old extent ; 3 merks of 
Westir Beltoquhan, value 3 merks, of old extent, in the barony of ' Menzeis ' in the 
shire of ' Perth,' belonging to said Robert's son and Cristian, and the same to 
either of the said during life, thus conjointly in possession, and their heirs male of 
one another, legitimately born them descending, which failing, heirs male of said 
Robert's father nearest from him of surname and arms of ' Menzeis,' related by 
blood, de rege in feodo. Witnesses : Wil. Ruthven of Ruthven, Knight, Sheriff 
of ' Perth.' ; Joh. Menzeis of Castlehill, Cuthberto Menzeis of Achonsel, Joh. 
Menzeis of Gardnarland, Joh. Menzeis of Cunry, Joh. Menzeis of Drumcrile, Wil. 
Menzeis, D. Joh. Mwry, chaplain ; and D. Wil. Ramsay, presbetir and notarie 
public, with signatures given personally. At Perth, 31st October 15 11." — Reg. 
Great Seal, p. 819, 3768. 

This document is valuable to the Menzies', as it shows the amount of branch 
chieftain representatives which could be brought together as occasion required, 
and also the good Celtic feeling of kin which existed among them. The first of 
these, John Menzies of Castle Hill, who owned the estates of Durrisdeer in the 
Dumfriesshire Highlands, but took his title from the castle or fortalice on the hill 
above Durrisdeer. The second, Cuthbert Menzies of Auchonsel, owned the estates 
of " Achlyne," as now called, in Glendochart, and which marched with those being 
granted by Sir Robert. The third, John Menzies of Gardnarland; his lands are 
thought to have been part of those of Clunie, afterwards called Rotmel. The 
fourth, John Menzies of Cumry — now Comrie — who had just taken possession of 
the lands and castle of Comrie on the death of his father, Robert Menzies of 
Comrie, who is recorded in the chronicle of Fortingall to have died on 12th May 
1 508. Fifth, John Menzies of Drumcrile, probably Drumcharry in Glenlyon, and 
his lands would adjoin the lands of Comrie. Sixth, William Menzies, who was the 
second son of Sir Robert, and brother to the receiver of the lands — in all, seven 
Menzies', including the chief. 

The object for which the Chief Sir Robert the Menzies brought so many of 
the chieftains or heads of branches of Clan Menzies together, was not simply to be 
witnesses to the foregoing charter, and acknowledging his eldest son as receiving 
a portion of his lands, to be enjoyed by him during his father's lifetime, but was 

a.d. 1513-1518.] THE VENERABLE CHIEF. 159 

mainly for two purposes. First, to concert measures to respond to the call of 
King James IV. to prepare for a campaign against their old enemies the English, 
on receiving which the chief had called these chieftains together at Perth, on the 
31st October 15 12, when they agreed to call out all their branches of the clan and 
followers, and join the king and the Scottish army at the time and place to 
be appointed by James IV., and from that date to make every preparation for the 
conflict. The second object was to have his eldest son Robert acknowledged as 
his successor as chief, in the event of his being killed in the coming war. By this 
timely arrangement Clan Menzies mustered a large force under their " red and 
white " banner, and joined the Royal Scottish army on the links near Edinburgh, 
a few days before it marched for the English border. From their large tracts of 
land the Menzies' must have mustered not less than 3000 men, among whom, in 
fulfilment of his bond of manrent and a vassal to the chief of Clan Menzies', was 
Duncan Campbell of Glenurchy, with his clan or followers, which was not very 
numerous. On crossing the border, the Scottish army besieged Norham Castle 
for some days, and, on being apprised of the advance of the English army, they 
advanced to meet it, but found that the English had got on to the Scottish side 
of the river Till ; James IV., therefore, drew up his army on the field of Flodden, 
on the 9th September 15 13, in a strong position, where he gave Clan Menzies a 
position on his right wing, along with other Highland clans. The Scottish army 
were well posted, and on the English attempting to cross the river Till to attack 
them, if James had only allowed the commander of his artillery (the Seven Sisters, 
which were the first field-guns brought into battle on carriages) to have opened 
fire on the English, the day would have went otherwise, but, owing to a mistaken 
notion of honour, he allowed the English to cross, form in order, and charge, 
which the Menzies' and other Highlanders received and drove back with such 
force that the left wing of the English were cut to pieces by the Menzies', 
Camerons, MacDonalds, Rosses, MacGregors, Robertsons, and other clans ; who, 
however, carried away by their impetuosity, left the centre unsupported, and on 
their return found the English masters of the field. Sir Robert and his sons, with 
the greater part of their followers, are said to have returned in good order from the 
field, along with other Highland clans, who lost very few men, the loss falling 
principally on the Lowlanders and Border men. 

On Campbell of Glenurchy receiving all he could from Sir Robert in 
connection with his life-rent of the lands of Crannoch, which gave him a footing 
on Loch Tayside, he then, for the purpose of forcing the Menzies' to sell these 
lands, secretly, by misrepresentations and other influences, stirred up the 
MacGregors and other unsophisticated kindly tenants of the Menzies' to violate 
the laws of the land, and thereby embroiling Sir Robert into difficulties with the 
Crown for the acts of his tenants. These lawless men were not all MacGresjors, 

160 THE "RED 6* WHITE" BOOK OF MENZIES. [a.d. 1523. 

but they were saddled with these crimes by their would-be friend Campbell. 
These acts were principally enacted in the Rannoch possessions of the Menzies', 
and had been carried on to such an extent as to cause Sir Robert a great deal 
of expense and annoyance. He, therefore, on giving his son William a grant of 
Rannoch, bound him down not to let these lands in life-rents or long leases. This 
obligation is still preserved at Castle Menzies, and reads thus : — 

" William Menzeis of Rawar to his father, Sir Robert Menzies of that Ilk, 
Knight, binding himself and his 'airis male of the Rannoch' in the wonted form, 
and als not to analy nor tyne the saidis lands,' under the pain of paying the said 
Sir Robert or his heirs 300 lib. Scots within 20 days after such failie was known at 
Edinburgh. Edinburgh, 8th March 1516." — Castle Menzies Charter Room, No. 178. 

The reason given for this obligation is that his father had given him the lands 
of Rannoch without any expense, and in defence of them had himself sustained 
great labour, scaith, and expense. 

It had been made clear to Sir Robert that the Campbells had in secret made 
use of the MacGregors to ravish his lands, so that he would get disgusted with 
such a state of affairs, and would therefore let or sell the lands on easy terms to 
the Campbells. This is quite obvious, as there never was any difference between 
the Menzies' and the MacGregors, who were their "kindly tenants" and kinsmen, 
until the crafty Campbells came, as evil spirits, among these peaceful Celts. Sir 
Robert, therefore, procured a second obligation from his son, William Menzies, not 
to let his lands of Roro, in Glenlyon, to the Campbells, or to the Chief MacGregor. 
Here is the document, which reads as follows : — 

" Obligation not to set Rorow to Campbells, nor the chief of Clan Gregor. 
Perth, 22nd February 15 18. We — Williame Menzeis and Jonat Campbel, my 
spouse — binds and oblissis vs, and the langar levand of vs tua to ane honorable 
man Schir Robert Menzeis of that Ilk, Knycht, that we sal gif na takkis nor set in 
assedatioun the tuelf merkisland of Rorowis, with the pertinentis, Hand in the 
barony of Menzeis and schirefdom of Perth, quhilkis we haif of the said Robert, 
to nane berand surname of Campbell, nor to the cheif of the Clan Gregor, vndir 
pane of ane hundreth pundis, to be payt to the said Robert for costis, scathis, and 

expenses Indorsed : ' The oblygatioun that Rorow sail nocht be set to the 

Campbells na Scheyff of Clangregour." — Charter Room of Castle Menzies, No. 188. 

The MacGregor referred to in the foregoing obligation was not the real chief 
of Clan Gregor, but was one of the lawless MacGregors who had usurped that 
position. He was called Duncan Ladosach MacGregor, and had been elected to 
that position as leader of the Rannoch caterans, which consisted of all the lawless 
and broken men of the Highlands belonging to almost all the clans, who were 
called MacGregors from their self-elected chief and leader. The real chief of Clan 
Gregor was on the most friendly terms with the chief of Clan Menzies, and had 

a.d. 1523.] THE VENERABLE CHIEF. 161 

married a daughter of the Chief Sir Robert, who had also set or let to him a 
portion of his lands. — Lairds of Glenlyon, p. 158. 

Chief Sir Robert the Menzies was born about 1433, and after a long and 
honourable life, according to the Cronickle of Fortingall, died in 'the year 1523. 
He was surnamed " The Venerable." The record of his death in the Chronicle 
reads thus : — " Death of a venerable man, Sir Roberti Menzeis, Knight, of Menzeis, 
at Weym, 12th day of August 1523 ; and he was buried in a sepulcar within 
the church of Weym." 

During his lifetime he was much honoured and beloved by the Highlanders, 
with whom he was held in great veneration. He was much . respected by 
James IV., who appears to have added greatly to his possessions in the districts of 
Strathearn, Dunkeld, as well as other parts of Perthshire, Forfarshire, and 
Argyleshire. He held lands under the Crown from sea to sea, stretching from the 
German Ocean at Kingsblythmount in an irregular chain across country to Loch 
Crean, near the Isle of Lismore. By his wife — the Lady Margaret Lindsay, 
daughter of Sir David Lindsay of Edziell, ancestor of the Earls of Crawford — he 
had three sons and two daughters : — 

1st. Sir Robert Menzies — his successor. 

2nd. William Menzies of Roro, ancestor of the sept branch of Clan Menzies 
of Shian and Glenquich. 

3rd. Alexander Menzies, who had a son John, who afterwards got a charter of 
Tegramuch from his uncle, Sir Robert the Menzies, 7th July 1546. — Nisbet, p. 246. 

1st. Margaret, married to William Robertson of Struan ; the contract of this 
marriage is in the Charter Room of Castle Menzies — he was chief of Clan 

The 2nd daughter is said to have married the chief of the MacGregors. — Lairds 
of Glenlyon, p. 158. 


Chieftain Alexander Menzeis of Pitfodels, who was Lord Provost of 
Aberdeen from 1475 to i486, and sat in the Scottish Parliament of King James 
III. at Edinburgh, 12th January 1468, representing Aberdeen. He died without 
issue, and his lands passed to his brother, David Menzeis. 

Chieftain David Menzeis of Pitfodels, on the death of his brother, was 

elected Lord Provost of Aberdeen in 1487, and appears to have held it to 1494. 


1 62 THE "RED &> WHITE'' BOOK OF MENZIES. [a.d. 1523. 

He sat in the Scottish Parliament of King James III. at Edinburgh, 4th October 

BARON Alexander Menzies of Findon, who held the lands and village of 
Findon — now so famous for its fish. He was a member of the Pitfodels branch, 
and Lord Provost of Aberdeen from 1501 to 1504. He also sat in the Scottish 
Parliaments of James III. at Edinburgh, 18th March 1481, when he was appointed 
a Parliamentary commissioner ; and also sat in the Parliaments of 1st March 1483 ; 
and of James IV., nth March 1503, as Baron of Findon. 

Chieftain Gilbert Menzies of Pitfodels represented Aberdeen in the 
Scottish Parliaments of James V., held at Perth, 26th November 15 13 ; and at 
Edinburgh, 12th June 1526; also 12th November 1526, and 13th May 1532. He 
was also Lord Provost of Aberdeen from 1505 to 1525. 

Chieftain Edward Menzies of Castlehill held part of the lands of 
Durrisdeer. The Douglases tried hard to force these lands from him ; he, however, 
was able to defeat all their attempts, and the feud between the Douglases and the 
Menzies' continued for some years, until the Douglases, unable to drive him out, 
and trusting to their power over the Lords of Council, had Edward Menzies 
summoned before them on the 9th October 1478, where the feud dragged on until 
1491. He, however, gained his case and rightful possession. He died about 1492. 

Chieftain John Menzies of Dalvene, the son of the preceding, on the 
death of whom he became possessor of Castlehill and Durrisdeer. He was one of 
the Menzies' at the council of war held at Perth by the chiefs of Clan Menzies 
before Flodden. 

Chieftain Cuthbert Menzies of Ackonsel, or Achlyne, in Glendochart. 
This branch of Clan Menzies he led to Flodden, and was one of the chieftains at 
the Clan Menzies council of war before that disaster. 

Chieftain John Menzies of Gardnerland, also at Flodden, who apparently 
led out the clan from the district of Cluny and Dunkeld. 

Chieftain John Menzies of Comrie, also at Flodden. He — from the lands 
of Comrie and the east end of Loch Tay, " Bellech," now Kenmore — must have 
brought a considerable force into the field. 

a.d. 1523.] THE VENERABLE CHIEF. 163 

Chieftain John Menzies of Drumcrile, likewise at the Flodden council of 
war as a representative'of a branch of Clan Menzies, which he led on that much- 
regretted field. 

Chieftain William Menzies of Roro and Glenlyon — evidently a brave 
man, as he was the progenitor of the brave and military branch of Clan Menzies of 
Shian and Glenquich, who so distinguished themselves afterwards in the cause of 
Bonnie Prince Charlie. He led out a branch of Clan Menzies at Flodden. On 
his lands in Glenlyon is the farm now called Balnahanat or Balnahanid, which 
at one time appear, from the meaning of the name, to have been occupied by 
some of the ancient Celtic ecclesiastic Menzies', who, as part of their sacred 
office, held one of the ancient Celtic Menzies bells, forming the group of bells 
of the same character found within the bounds and preserved from the Menzies 
Abthania of Dull. The ecclesiastical establishment of Balnahanat has now 
disappeared, but its ancient bell was found in August 1870 on the present farm 
of Balnahanat. It is, however, much decayed, but appears similar to the other 
bells found within the ancient possessions of the Menzies', viz., St Fillans, 
Fortingall, Struan, Balnahanat-Glenlyon bells, and the Glenlyon bell given in 
Dr Joseph Anderson's Scotland in Early Christian Times, pp. 179-180. 


M 2 

Chief Sir IRobert tbe " fll>en3eis," IkniQbt, 49tb from 
fll>a\mu0, ano 12th Baron of fll>en3ies. 

A.D. 1475-1557- 

CHIEF SIR ROBERT THE MENZIES during the lifetime of his father, 
on the 22nd November 1503, married Lady Christina Gordon, eldest 
daughter of Alexander Gordon, third Earl of Huntly, by Jean Stewart, 
daughter of John, Earl of Athole, uterine brother of James II. 
There is a contract of marriage by way of indenture, between Sir Robert 
Menzies, Knight, on behalf of Robert his son, and the Earl of Huntly on behalf of 
his daughter. Sir Robert shared in all the troubles brought about by the surprise 
and capture of Castle Menzies by Neil Stewart of Garth ; and it is said that it was 
he who sent round the Fiery Cross and assembled Clan Menzies, at the head of 
whom he stormed Garth Castle, and liberated his father from its dungeons and 
then gave Garth to the flames, leaving it a ruin, in which condition it stands to 
the present day. On 1st September 15 12, his father gave to him and his spouse 
the whole lands of the west end of Loch Tay, consisting of Morenish, which included 
Finlarig Castle as a residence ; the lands of Kinnell, which included what is now 
known as Achmore, and part of Glendochart. To the charter of this gift are the 
names of no less than six chieftains of Clan Menzies as witnesses. It was granted 
at the council of the clan, held at Perth, where it was arranged to call out the clan 
to support King James IV. against England, which resulted in the battle of Flodden. 
Sir Robert the Menzies is said by Nisbet to have been served heir to his father in 
the estates of Menzies in 1520; the document is in the Charter Room of Castle 
Menzies. He got possession of his father's estates after his death, which took place 
in August 1523. The Menzies lands at that time extended from sea to sea. 

According to the chronicle of Fortingall, Lady Menzies died 22nd February 
1525. A translation is as follows : — 

" 1525, February 22 — Death of Christina Gordon, Lady of Weym ; and she was 
buried in a sepulcar within the church at Weym." There is an inscription to her 

a.d. 1525-1528.] THE GUID AND TEE IV CHIEF. 165 

memory at the back of the Menzies Altar, with the Gordon escutcheon, 
as follows : — 




I52S-" I5 2 5- 

The Gordon Arms represented at the back of the altar are : — Quarterly — 1st, 
three boars' heads, cuped ; 2nd, three Irons' heads, erased, langued ; 3rd, three 
crescents within a double tresure, flory counter-nory ; 4th, three cinquefoils, 
surmounted by an earl's coronet. 

After her death Sir Robert Menzies married Marion Campbell, daughter of 
Archibald, Earl of Argyle. The contract of this marriage is dated 8th December 
1526 ; and the burden-takers for the bride's tocher were Janet, Countess of Athol, 
Sir John Campbell of Calder, and Archibald Campbell of Stepnoch, who took an 
obligation to pay 600 merks of tocher. This document is also in the Charter Room 
of Castle Menzies, 

After the battle of Flodden James IV. left an infant son, James V., and during 
his long minority Scotland fell into great distress through the dissensions among its 
nobles and governors, who were each trying to get possession of the person of the 
young king, and thereby hold the reins of power. The house of Douglas were the 
great disturbers of the peace, and set the whole of Scotland in a flame from time to 
time as their power came and went. 

The Highlanders, remote from the seat of the Government, had been left to 
themselves since the defeat of Flodden, and had gradually relapsed into a state of 
almost irretrievable disorganization. Owing to this state of matters, little can be 
found recorded in Government records of what was being transacted at this period 
in the country of the Menzies'. If the Highlands were in such a bad state, the 
Lowlands were worse, particularly the southern Highlands of Dumfriesshire and the 
Borders, where the Douglases used their power for the worst purposes of rapine and 
injustice, and perpetrated crimes with impunity. Douglas, Earl of Angus, 
and his set, who had the power by keeping the young king their prisoner, neglected 
these outrages, which they found it lucrative to countenance. James V., however, 
made his escape from Falkland in June 1528, and joined the friends of Scotland at 
Stirling. He was then only 17 years of age ; he, however, showed great energy, and 
at once summoned Parliament. After several conflicts, in which the Menzies' fought 
on the side of the king against the Douglas faction, he, on the 2nd of September 
1528, by an Act passed an attainder against the Douglases. 

166 THE "RED & WHITE" BOOK OF MENZIES. [a.d. 1528. 

Immediately after the Douglases were expelled from Scotland King James V., 
for the services Chief Sir Robert the Menzies had rendered him in aiding him 
to procure his freedom, granted him a considerable stretch of their lands which 
marched with those of his lordship of Enouch, of which he was still superior. These 
lands consisted of Dalpeddir, Glendyne, Glencarrok, and Drumldnrig, &c, and for 
which Sir Robert also paid a considerable sum of money. This is shown by the 
charter, which reads : — 

"At Edinburgh, 10th Nov. 1528, James V. The king concedes to Robert 
Menzeis, Knight, of Menzies, and his heirs heritably, and assigns the 10 merk land 
of old extent of Dalpeddir and Glennym (in consideration for 2000 merks). The 
2 merk land of old extent of Dawgonare (for 200 merks). The 10 merk land of old 
extent and the sheep of Glencarrok (for 1000 merks) in the shire of Dumfries, 
which were held in feu rent by James Douglas of Drumlanrig of the king, and now 
denounced rebell and confiscated. The lands of Dalpeddir, Glennym, Drumlangrig ; 
the 33 merk land of Glencarrock and the sheep of Glencorse. The 18 merk lands 
with superiority over the water of Skar in the shire of Dumfries, and the lands of 
Hawik in the shire of Roxburgh." — Reg. Gt. Seal, p. 153. 

The assistance rendered James V. by the Chief of the Menzies' and Clan 
Menzies must have been very considerable to have merited such a large restoration 
of their property. The principal part of these lands lay within the ancient 
territory of the Menzies', under the title of Barony of Durrisdeer, which was 
given them after Bannockburn, then somewhat more extensive than the present 
parish of Durrisdeer. The position of the lands given in this charter are as 
follows : — 

Dalpeddir, now DALBEATTIE, the lands of which are granted in the foregoing 
charter, lie about 5^ miles south-east of Castle Douglas. These lands stand in a 
pleasant country, and now have as a centre the town of Dalbeattie. Glennym, now 
GLENDYNE ; these lands stand to the south-east of Sanquhar, and march with the 
district of Durrisdeer. The rivulet which flows through Glendyne empties itself into 
the river Nith. Between this burn and the other Menzies lands of Durrisdeer runs 
the rivulet " Menock," and at its junction with the river Nith stands the village of 
Menock ; these are included in this charter under the name of " Glennym," and 
doubtless received the name of Menock after their old Menzies proprietors, "Menock" 
being quite the Dumfriesshire way of saying Menzies. There is also a rivulet of 
the name of Menock or Minnick, which rises in the high mountains, from which it 
runs for 1 3 miles until it joins the Nith at the village of Menock ; through part of 
its course it traverses the parish of " Minniegaff." 

Dawgonare, now DALWHAT, the lands of which stretch from the south-west 
boundary of Drumlanrig and Durrisdeer, and are traversed by a burn of the same 
name, which flows through the town of Moniave or Minniehive (Menzieshive), the 

a.d. 1528-30.] THE GUID AND TREW CHIEF. 167 

name of which indicates another relic of its ancient owners. It is 7 miles 
south-west of Thornhill. 

Glencarrock, now Glencarrick:, the lands of which lie somewhat south of 
Durrisdeer, through which flows the Duncow rivulet. In this glen there is a fine 
cascade called " Glencarrick Leap." The glen itself extends to within 7 miles 
of Dumfries. 

DRUMLANGRIG. — These lands were originally within the Menzies barony 
under the name of Durrisdeer, when they were given the Menzies' by King Robert 
the Bruce, but, during the many changes, had been laid hold of by the Douglases 
in the time of their power, and now restored to the Menzies' by James V. They 
lie immediately on the west bank of the river Nith, and take their name from a 
high knoll or rising ground upon which stands Drumlanrig Castle, evidently on the 
site of one of the Menzies fortalices. It forms an interesting feature for several 
miles in the rich and remarkably varied landscape which traverses the vale of the 
Nith. From the opposite bank stretches away the rich fields of Enouch, rising with 
gradual slopes until they become pretty steep in the vicinity of Durrisdeer, above 
which again rises the Alpine range of mountains, dividing Dumfries from Roxburgh. 

Glencorse or CORSOCK is a stretch of country stretching south from the village 
of Moniave, in which lies Loch Corsock, and the village of Corsock standing on the 
water of Urr, 10 miles north of Castle Douglas. Here there was an old castle, now 
in ruins, called Corsock Castle. This is a splendid district for sheep. 

Skar Water, now called the " SCARR," is a rivulet which rises within half-a-mile 
at a point where the counties of Dumfries, Kirkcudbright, and Ayr meet. It flows 
south-eastward to the river Nith, and runs between the lands of Drumlanrig and 
Dalwhat, already mentioned, making one large tract of land running south-west 
from Durrisdeer to Moniave, extending to about 1 5 miles in length by about 8 to 
10 miles broad, with two wings stretching southwards, — Glen Carrick on the east of 
the river Nith, and Glen Corsock on the west. The Scar is super-toped by hill- 
screens over a great part of its course, which are steep and high, tufted with copses 
below, and dotted over with sheep in the ascents. Its bed is narrow and rocky, 
rapid in gradient, and so embellished with trees and cultivation as to make it replete 
with picturesqueness and romance. 

The last on the list of lands at this time conveyed to Sir Robert the Menzies 
are the lands of " Hawik," now Hawick, in Roxburghshire, which are said to be 
8 miles long by 3 broad, and were computed to contain 24 square miles. 

For some time the caterans and outlawed MacGregors had been giving Sir 
Robert Menzies great trouble in Rannoch, and, as many of that clan were his 
tenants, for every theft or violation of the law done by them, the Government held 
him responsible as lord of Rannoch. To get rid of this responsibility he petitioned 
the Government to be relieved from this burden. This he urged in 1530 by "asking 

168 THE "RED cV WHITE" BOOK OF MENZIES. [a.d. i 530-1 533. 

instruments that without some good rule be found for the Clan Gregor, he may not 
be to answer for them on his lands, nor the burden for good rule in the same." — 
Cliambers's Miscellany, vols. 13, 14. 

Not only did these depredations affect himself, but also his other tenants, as 
the fame of the celebrated " Black Cattle of the Menzies " made their country of 
Rannoch and their other lands the favourite field for predatory inroads — " A fat 
mart from the herds of the Menzies " being proverbially offered as a tempting 
reward for the adventurous freebooter ; and many of the young Highlanders of 
surrounding clans often emulated each other in their proffers of marriage to the 
bonnie lassies of the Clan Menzies, knowing that according to their station they 
would receive as a tocher a share of the " Fat herds of the Menzies." The Clan 
Menzies had been long noted for their attention to the rearing of cattle, to which 
the position of their lands was favourable. Tradition says that they often had 
posts of armed clansmen watching their herds, and to give the alarm on the 
approach of any enemy or band of caterans. These positions were chosen so as to 
give the signal from place to place, right round their lands ; and even at night, 
if these caterans got within their lines, the alarm being given at once roused the whole 
country. As the MacGregors were certainly not without fault, still many of the 
outrages done at this time were not committed by them, but by broken and outlawed 
men from all parts of the country, who had taken refuge in the Highlands on the king 
exercising the strong hand of Government ; but it was to the interest of certain others, 
such as the Campbells, to lay every crime that happened at the door of Clan Gregor. 

In 1533, the Chief Sir Robert the Menzies granted to his eldest son, Alexander 
Menzies, with consent of King James V., the large tract of Menzies country known 
as Rannoch, in which he was installed as Baron of Rannoch ; and from this time we 
have Alexander Menzies signing his name, and otherwise designated as Alexander 
Menzies of Rannoch. The lands conveyed to him are shown in the charter as follows : — 

"At Edinburgh, 1st May 1533. King James concedes to Alexander 
Mengeis, son and heir apparent of Robert Menzeis of Menzies, Knight, the lands 
and baronie of Rannoch, namely, Dowane, Kinchlauchir, the two Cammyseraclitis, 
Ardlaroche, Kilquhonane, Lairne, Ardlair, Largan, Islands of Lochranoche, with the 
districts of Rannoche and Irochty, with everything otherwise in the surrounding 
district, and the Islands of the same said lands, extending to said 20 pound lands, 
with the custidoia of the forests of the same in the baronia of Rannoch, within the 
shire of Perth, which the said Robert Menzies, Knight, resigned, conveyed to said 
Alexander and heirs male begotten of his body, legitimately descending, which 
failing, to the said Robert and heirs of the name male whatsomever, rightly by 
birth of old, or pure descent to the said reserved . test." — Register of Gt. Seal, 
p. 279-1280. 

Part of Sir Robert's lordship of Apnadul was held by the monks of Dull or 

a.d. 1533-1537.] THE GUID AND TREW CHIEF. 169 

Dow, whose lands lay near the village. At this time Protestantism had taken hold 
of a number of Sir Robert's tenants ; even Sir Robert himself was considered to 
favour the new religion. The monks and priests, wishing to crush out the growing 
feeling in favour of the Reformation, incited those who remained firm Romanists to 
destroy the crops of the Reformers. This destruction being represented to the 
king, he gave the following letter (signed by his own hand) to Sir Robert, who 
submitted it to the Lord Chancellor : — 

" Letter— King James V. to the Chancellor, President, and Lords of Council and 
Session, charging them to proceed with the summons raised at his instance and the 
instance of the ' power tenentis and occupiris ' of the king's lands of Appindull, 
against the tenants and inhabitants of the Kirkland of Dow for ' the wrangous 
spoliatioun, distructioun, birnying, away-takin and withaldin be thaim selfhs and 
vtheris in thair names, etc., of certane turvis, peittis, hadder, be and woun,' gathered 
in the month of August 1537, in the time of ' vacans,' by the said tenants, and for 
their wrongful occupation of the lands. Falkland, 6th December 1537. — Subscribed 
by King James V." — Charter Room, Castle Menzies, No. 31. 

From the foregoing incidents the Kirk of Dow or Dull appears to have had 
a considerable number of people who were willing to run great risks to carry out 
the wishes of the Romish clergy. Although the College of Dull had been removed 
to found St Andrews University about 400 years before, the Auld Kirk of Dull 
still remained, and had considerable importance down to this time. The influence 
of the Church of Rome was the cause of the decay of this once great seat of 
learning under the Celtic Christian Menzies fathers. Here, under such teachers, in 
the early centuries, many a Menzies had the true spirit of Christianity kindled 
within his heart, from whence he went forth preaching the Gospel to the southern 
Picts, Britons, and even to the continent of Europe. The pure Christian religion 
of their Celtic forefathers being replaced by the Church of Rome, the days of the 
then famous Dull were numbered ; and now, with the Reformation, the Church of 
Rome in turn was doomed to be cast out with the last remaining vestiges of the 
ancient grandeur, which, although corrupted, had still kept some of the dignity 
of former times. In comparison of the changes through which Dull had passed, 
the poet Miller thus speaks : — 

" O Dull ! thou'rt dull to gaze upon, 
So bleak upon thy bare hillside ; 
But though forlorn, thy rustics own 
Their humble home with meikle pride, 
And tell, elate, of times gone by, 
That there, amid the russet heath, 
Rose college spires, while learning spread 
Around its blessings far and wide, 
Long ere St Andrews merged from night 

To charm the Lowlands with her light. 
So runs the doubtful tale, and then 
They'll state how ashler stones were found, 
Of cunning shape and polished grain, 
Within their own or grandsire's ken, 
Deep buried in the ground — 
Fair proof, if proof were sought, to show 
That Dull was gay, long, long ago I " 

170 THE "RED <S~ WHITE" BOOK OF MENZIES. [a.d. 1537-1546. 

In 1 541 Henry VIII. of England sent an embassy to James V. asking him to 
follow his example and throw off the authority of the Pope and the Church of 
Rome ; this James declined to do at the dictation of any other king. The embassy 
then pressed James to have an interview with Henry, and that he should meet him 
in a conference to be held on the Borders. This was received with less opposition, 
and he appears to have given a reluctant assent. It however happened that the 
English borderers, with the approval of the wardens, invaded the Scottish territory ; 
and King James V., disgusted with such duplicity, remonstrated, and demanding 
redress declined the promised interview till this should be done. Meanwhile, in 
the autumn of 1541, Henry VIII. proceeded to York, and held court there for six 
days, hourly expecting his nephew, but in vain. His disappointment was such, 
that from that instant war with Scotland was resolved upon, and a levy of soldiers 
called. James V. likewise prepared to defend the interests of his kingdom, and 
issued charges to all the leading nobles and chiefs. The charge to Chief Sir Robert 
the Menzies and the clan is signed by the king's own hand, and is still preserved 
at Castle Menzies. It reads as follows : — 

" Charge by King James the Fifth to the tenants of the barony of Menzeis, 
summoning them, when required by Robert Menzeis of that Ilk, Knight, to make 
themselves ' reddy bodin in feir of weir,' and pass forth with him in defence of the 
realm. Edinburgh, 1 September 1541. Subscribed by the King." — Charter Room, 
Castle Menzies, No. 32. 

Great was the preparation from the receipt of this order until Clan Menzies 
mustered at the call of the Fiery Cross, and marched to meet King James on the 
" Borough Muir," near Edinburgh. From there they proceeded to meet the enemy, 
but, on the retreat of the English, part of them were disbanded ; the other part 
followed Lord Maxwell to the western borders, where they were defeated at the 
Battle of Solway. The effects of this reverse broke the heart of the king. He 
died 13th December 1542, and plunged Scotland into all the horrors of the minority 
of Queen Mary. 

In 1546 Henry VIII. was urging forward his preparations for another invasion 
of Scotland ; and, as Sir Robert Menzies was now a very old man, a license was 
granted exempting him from service as Chief of the Clan in the coming war and 
also for the remainder of his life. He had been throughout his lifetime a faithful 
and true supporter and patriot of Scotland, having led out Clan Menzies personally 
in all the wars of James V., and also at the siege of the Castle of St Andrews in 
1 546 ; and now that he was old and in failing health, it was provided that the 
junior chief, his eldest son, Alexander Menzies of Rannoch, should fill his place in 
the coming war. This document is preserved in the Charter Room of Castle 
Menzies, and reads as follows : — - 

" 82. Licence by James, Earl of Arran, Governor of Scotland, to Robert 

a.d. 1546-1547] THE GUID AND TREW CHIEF. 171 

Menzeis of that Ilk, to remain at home from all ' oists, armyis, raids, assemblings 
and gadderings quhatsumeuir during all the days of his lifetime ' ; the said Robert 
Menzeis having ' at all tymes during the tyme of our gouerment bene GUDE AND 
TREW unto ws, and with \vs in owre seruice, and als hes remainit with ws in the 
cietie of Sanctandris this quarter with the Angus men ' ; and that he was ' agit and 
seiklie, and may not indure travell without danger to his lif It is provided that 
his son and servants should attend ' honestlie furnist ' in all the wars at all times 
when required. Dated at St Andrews, 2d Oct. 1546." 

This shows the esteem and high reputation in which Sir Robert Menzies was 
held, and had maintained throughout his life, also that he had seen much military 
service for his country ; in all he had conducted himself with credit and honour. 

As Lord Superior of Culter, Sir Robert Menzies possessed the lands of Wolf 
Clyde, and some difficulty arising with his tenants there, it became necessary to 
use extreme measures. Having warned them to remove from the lands, they 
refused to do so ; Sir Robert, therefore, obtained letters to the sheriff to have them 
compelled to leave these lands. One of these letters, as a specimen, is as 
follows : — 

" Letters in name of Queen Mary, given under the signet at Edinburgh, 1553, 
to the Sherif of Lanark, narrating that Robert Menzeis of that Ilk, heritable 
proprietor of the lands Wolf Clyde, within the barony of Culter, had, before Whit 
Sunday 1552, warned his tenants to flitt and remove, which they had neglected and 
refused to do ; therefore, ordering the Sheriff to take cognition of the matter, 
and compell them to remove, if the allegations were found correct, and refound 
such profits as might have accrued from that term." — Charter Room, Castle 
Menzies, No. 202. 

During the minority of Queen Mary and the regency of James Hamilton, 2nd 
Earl of Arran, who was the lineal descendant from Annabella Menzies, who, by 
her marriage with his ancestor, Sir David Hamilton, about 1346, brought into his 
family the lands and barony of Kinneil and Bo'ness, since which time the 
relationship had been kept strong between the two families, Sir Robert became 
Protestant. This caused the Menzies' to give the Regent Arran their strenuous 
support during the wars of Queen Mary. Henry VIII., to force the Scots to agree 
to the marriage of their queen with his son, sent an army to invade Scotland, which 
landed at Leith and proceeded to attack Edinburgh. Arran, who had called out 
all the armed men and clans available — among which were a body of Menzies' — 
marched to the relief of Edinburgh. On his approach the English, after burning 
and wasting all within their power, made a rapid and disorderly retreat. Next 
year Clan Menzies, led by their Chief, Sir Robert, formed a part of the earl's army 
which defeated the English forces, with great slaughter, under Lord Evers at 
Penielhaugh, near Jedburgh, 17th February 1545. In 1547 an English army of 

172 THE "RED & WHITE" BOOK OF MENZIES. [a.d. 1547-1553. 

18,000 men invaded Scotland, and encountered the Scots under Arran at Pinkie, 
where in their eagerness to attack the English, they abandoned a most favourable 
position and were defeated with great loss, in which the Menzies' also suffered. The 
regent, however, by his prudence, prevented it from being of any advantage to 
England. Owing to these conflicts, the regent determined to arm those patriotic 
Scottish nobles and chiefs, who had so ably and nobly assisted to drive the English 
from Scotland, with the latest and best make of artillery. Accordingly, in 1553, he 
had a number of bronze guns cast off a pattern, light and handy, which, when 
mounted on light carriages, could be pulled along by three or four clansm'en and 
brought into action as rapidly as the clansmen or foot soldiers could manoeuvre. 
These cannon he entrusted to his most tried friends, among whom was Chief Sir 
Robert the Menzies, and his son, Sir Alexander Menzies of Rannoch, to whom he 
gave several of these guns. Tradition says that, when not away with Clan Menzies 
engaged in the wars, they were mounted on each of the flanking towers of Castle 
Menzies and from the gun ports protecting its ancient doorway, in which case Clan 
Menzies must have got at least seven bronze cannon. One of these guns was 
discovered at Castle Menzies, in July 1893, by the author, but without its carriage. 
Herewith is a description of this fine piece of ordnance, now known as " The 
Menzies Gun " : — 

THE Menzies Gun measures 4 feet long, is octagon in shape, with a beautiful 
moulding round the muzzle and breech, showing each about 7 lines in their 
formation. The bore is about 1 % inches diameter. Across the extreme breech 
it measures /\.)4 inches, in which it has a hole to act as a socket for a lever to 
steady the gun when firing ; this is formed by a diaphragm about 3 inches from 
the end. The muzzle measures 3^ inches over all, and has a sighting notch 
cut in the mouldings at muzzle and breech. The flash-pan is to the right side 
of the gun, and is somewhat ornamental ; it has been much used, as part of the 
bronze is eaten away by the action of the powder. It has a carriage socket 
2 feet from the muzzle, with a hole to bolt to carriage. On the top is a shield 
with three cirquefoils, the arms of Hamilton, and on either side H ^} I, the 
initials of James Hamilton, Earl of Arran, Regent of Scotland ; underneath is 
the date 1553- The gun weighs y 2 cwt. without carriage. As a bronze 
casting it is a very fine specimen, and would tax our present tradesmen to 
produce its equal ; altogether it is beautifully proportioned, and indeed a 
work of art. 

The question of damages for the burning of Castle Menzies came up again 
in the year 1553, which had not been made good, notwithstanding the decrees 
issued in the favour of the venerable Sir Robert Menzies. In 1504 Neil Stewart, 
in order to evade the action of the law against him, fraudulently resigned his 
Barony of Garth into the hands of the Earl of Athole, seeking him as his 



'M | 



The Menzies, Queen Mary Bronze Cannon at Castle Menzies. 

Used in the Wars of Queen Mary by Clan Menzies. 
Dated 1553, with the Escutcheon and Cypher "H.I." of James, Earl of Arran, Regent of Scotland. 

a.d. 1553-1557.] THE GUID AND TREW CHIEF. 173 

protector, and becoming that nobleman's vassal and tenant ever afterwards. 
This was the last of " Neil " Stewart after the sacking of Castle Menzies, but 
on his son coming into the property, the following action was taken : — 

" ! 553- Summons of reduction in the name of Queen Mary, given under 
the signet, at Edinburgh, the 18th of September 1553, at the instance of 
Robert Menzeis of that Ilk, Knight, son and heir to the deceased Robert 
Menzeis of that Ilk, Knight, against John, Earl of Athole, grandson and heir to 

the deceased John, Earl of Athole, and Stewart, eldest son and heir to 

the deceased Neill Stewart of Forthergill, for reducing and annulling the 
infeftments of lands of the barony of Forthirgill granted by the deceased Neill 
Stewart to the said deceased John, Earl of Athole, and in fraud, hurt, and 
prejudice of the said late Robert Menzeis, and the said Sir Robert, his son and 
his heir, because the late Sir Robert had, on the 15th of Mar. 1504, or thereabout, 
obtained a decreet of the Lords of Council against the said Neill Stewart for 
200 lib. Scots, ' for byrining and destroying of his ' Castle and ' place of Weyme,' 
and divers other sums ' for spoliatioun, away-taking and withholding of his 
insicht, victualis, and vtheris, his geir,' extending in all to 3000 merks ; which 
decreet had been transferred to the said Sir Robert ' Meingeis,' as heir to his 
father, in March 1533 ; and because the said infeftments had been granted 
fraudulently, to prevent apprysing of the lands belonging to Stewart, at the 
instance of Sir Robert Menzeis, and thus frustrate him in payment of his 
claims." — Charter Room, Castle Menzies, No. 201. 

This shows that the Earls of Athole were also in league with the Stewarts, 
by which they had for so many years escaped the action of the law, owing to 
the minorities of James V. and Mary. Sir Robert, by right of male inheritance, 
was the rightful owner of Garth and the whole of the barony and parish of 
Fortingall ; and also by decree of damages for 3000 merks, which the Stewarts 
had failed to pay, he was entitled to possess these lands as the value of that sum. 
The Earl of Athole, however, by his fraudulent dealing, held them up to this time. 

Sir Robert the Menzies, Knight of Menzies, after a long and honourable 
life, through times almost the worst in which the Highlands of Scotland had 
ever passed, seems to have died about the year 1557. By his first wife, Lady 
Christian Gordon, daughter of the Earl of Huntly, he had Sir Alexander the 
Menzies, his successor. By his second wife, Lady Marion Campbell, daughter 
of the Earl of Argyle, he is thought to have had a second son, Fergus Menzies. 
Sir Robert must have been born about 1475, and on his death in 1557 he 
would therefore be about 82 years of age. He left — 

1st. Sir Alexander the Menzies, Knight, his successor, who, during his 
father's lifetime, was surnamed " The Baron of Rannoch." 

i 7 4 THE "RED or- WHITE" BOOK OF MENZIES. [a.d. 1557. 

2nd. Fergus Menzies, who is mentioned as being present at " an inquest 
and conjunction before a commission and jury, on the 5th July 1529, inquiring 
into the lands of Petterquhuarne, Caltnlyth, and Aberfeldy, as pertinents of the 
lands of Grantullie, to which his name is appended ' Fergus Menzies.' " — Red 
Book of Grantly, p. 69, vol. i. 


Chieftain Thomas Menzies of Pitfodels, was Lord Provost of Aberdeen 
in the years 1525-1526, 1 533- 1 537 to 1545. He also sat in the Scottish 
Parliaments held by James V. at Edinburgh, nth March 1538; and of Queen 
Mary, held at Edinburgh, 13th March 1542 and 7th November 1544, where 
his name is given as Thomas Menses, representing Aberdeen. 

Chieftain Gilbert Menzies of Pitfodels, Lord Provost of Aberdeen 
from 1526 to 1533, and then in 1536. He sat in the Parliament of James V. 
at Edinburgh, 7th June 1535, representing the city of Aberdeen. 

Alexander Menzies was one of the judges on the disputed lands of the 
Abbot of " Deir," in July 1544, at Aberdeen. 

Lord Rector Robert Menzies, who, during the reign of James V., was 
Lord Chamberlain and Lord Rector of Glasgow University. — Muniments 
Universitatis Glasgow, No. i., p. 151 ; No. ii., pp. 149-154. 

Rev. David Menzies, Chaplain to Saint Dutheis Altar in the Cathedral 
Kirk of Aberdeen. It was in his time that the Bailies and Council of the city and 
seaport of Aberdeen put an impost of ii. s. on all goods being shipped to " France, 
Flanders, Dunskyne, Denmark, or any part of the realm, to pay for the work to be 
done on Saint Nicholes Kirk," &c, under the charge of " David Menzies, Presbitro 
in sacris bacJialaris, &c." dated 20th Oct. 1520. 

The " Red and White " Menzies Tartan — Full Dress. 

Worn by the Clan Menzies Guard of Honour to Her Majesty Queen Victoria in 1842, on her first visit to the Highlands. 



V-^V. ■/ ■ v.s^ 

Bv\ ^^^g^y 5 

■ ~^C 


B\ A ^E^^^P ' 



■ i^S 


Cbief Sir Hleranoer tbe M fIDen3es," IRnigbt, 50tb from flDagnus, 
ano I3tb Baron of flDen3tes, 


A.D. 1504-1563. 

ING JAMES V. confirmed to the young Chief Sir 
Alexander the Menzies, Knight, the gift by his father, 
Chief Sir Robert the Menzies, during his lifetime, of 
part of the (old) Menzies barony of Fortingall, divided 
into and consisting of the lands and sub-barony of 
Rannoch, 1st May 1533. These lands consisted of 
"Dowane, Kinchlauchir, Cammyserachtis, Ardlaroch, 
Kilquhonane, Lairne, Ardlair, Largan," with the islands 
of Loch Rannoch and the whole neighbouring country 
of Rannoch and Loch Ericht with its surrounding lands, and the keepership of the 
forests of Rannoch and adjacent country. From this, and during his father's life- 
time, Sir Alexander had his title from these Rannoch estates, as Sir "Alexander 
Menzies of Rannoch;" thus his name is attached to many of the bonds of manrent, 
as a witness, in the Cronikil of Fothergill and other documents of that period. He 
early became a Protestant, and is thought to have changed the sett of the Menzies 
tartan to the present setting of the ' Red and White ' Menzies tartan, having 
seven lines. 

Sir Alexander, on the death of his father, was retoured heir and got possession of 
the extensive estates of the Menzies'. This service is preserved in the Charter Room 
of Castle Menzies. Sir Alexander married first, Janet Campbell, daughter of 
Sir James Campbell of Lawers, whose representative is the present Earl of Loudoun. 
The contract of this marriage is in the Charter Room of Castle Menzies, by which 
marriage he had a son, James Menzies, his heir and successor. He resided at the 
Menzies Castle on the island of Loch Tay, where many deeds were signed by him 
as Alexander Menzies of Rannoch. 

According to Foster he likewise had an only daughter, Miss Menzies of Menzies, 

T76 THE " RED &> WHITE" BOOK OF MENZIES. [a.d. 1536. 

who married William Robertson of Strowan, in 1546. Robertson seems to have 
through this marriage received a feu-charter or a lease of the lands and barony of 
Strowan, in his barony of Rannoch, from Sir Alexander Menzies, his father-in-law ; 
but it was afterwards a subject of dispute, as the Robertsons wanted it to be a free 
barony of their own. The Menzies, however, claimed their right to it as superiors, 
being part of their barony of Fortingall, and the Robertsons as their tenants. — 
Foster's Commoners, p. 420, vol. iv. 

Sir Alexander Menzies of Rannoch, by his connection with the Campbells, had 
not acted up to the precepts and principles of his grandfather, which was not to trust 
the Campbells in any way. His marriage with the daughter of Lawers brought him 
into close relationship with them ; and the Campbells at this time seem to have been 
ready to do almost anything for Sir Alexander, so as to have the thin edge of the 
wedge inserted to gain their own ends ; and as he had the vast and extensive estates 
of Rannoch in his keeping as heir to his father, there was some chance of the 
Campbells making some land capital out of a mutual arrangement with the young 
Laird of Rannoch. The brother-in-law of Alexander was, therefore, the man most 
fitted to approach the young Laird ; and, representing to him his willingness to help 
him against the caterans on his estates, arranged a mutual bond of manrent, which is 
as follows: — 

"Bond of manrent and maintenance betwixt Alexander Menzeis of the Rannoch, 
son and heir-apparent of Robert Menzeis of the Weme, Knight, and John Campbell 
of Lawers, whereby they mutually bind themselves in speciale for the defence, 
keping, iosing, and bruking of the landis of the Rannoch, woddis and forestis of the 
saym, and aythir of thame sail be traist and trew to vtheris at all tyme, and supple 
and defend vtheris, baith with thair bodeis, landis, gudis, placis, stedingis, and sail give 
vtheris the best counsall thai can ; and rychtsua that tha sail ane conuenient man, 
chosin with baith thair avis, to the keping of the haill woddis and forestis of the 
Rannoch, quhilk the said Alexander hes of the Kingis grace in few and heretage; 
and this kepar to answer thame of all and sindry proffitis of the saidis woddis and 
forestis, quhilkis proffitis and the saidis Alexander and Johne sail equalie divide 
betuix thame; and gif this kepar pleses thame nocht, tha sail remove the samyn and 
put in ane vthir in his sted, chosin be baith thair avisis, als oft as tha think expedient. 
And attour that the Isle and Loch within the landis of the Rannoch, that the Johne 
hes in liferent of the said Alexander, sal be reddy at all tyme to thame baith, makand 
the expensis equaly betuix thame for the keping of the said Isle. Dated at Perth, 
April 1536." — Charter Room, Castle Menzies, No. 129. 

This bond of mutual manrent is from the Charter Room of Castle Menzies, in 
which Alexander Menzies is the principal, having the whole property in question. 
Campbell, having no property in Rannoch, had everything to gain and nothing to 
lose; and as his predecessors had outwitted the confiding Menzies by similar bonds 

a.d. 1536-1548.] THE RENOUNCER OF THE MASS. 177 

of manrent, and had got a feu of Lawers; so this Campbell hoped to get a hold in 
Rannoch. He had even got concessions, as is seen in the foregoing, which he had 
no right to. 

As Baron of Rannoch, Sir Alexander Menzies acted as judge of his district, and 
therefore had all kinds of cases brought up before him. On the 14th February 1540 
the case of the slaughter of Angus Mackinlay was brought up, and as he had been 
killed by George Clerk and John Dougalson, it was necessary that certain assigna- 
tions should be given. We give the document relating to this : — 

" Notarial instrument certifying the assignation by Mariot Ne Kinla, Donald 
Moyr, her spouse, Makvelane Afrik, daughter of the after-mentioned Angus M'Kinla, 
and others, the nearest of kinsmen to the deceased Angus M'Kinla, to Alexander 
Menzeis, son and heir apparent of Sir Robert Menzeis of that Ilk, of the assythment to 
be made for the slaughter of Angus M'Kinla, by George Clerk and John Dougalsoun. 
Dated at Dull, 14th February 1540." — Charter Room, Castle Menzies, No. 199. 

The MacGregors of Glenstray seem to have been on the best of terms with 
Sir Alexander Menzies, and for years they held the lands of Archty east and others 
in Rannoch, where they had power from Sir Alexander Menzies to sublet these lands 
to any of the Clan Gregor, with one exception. This exception was that which first 
brought disgrace on this distinguished clan, namely, the notorious Duncan MacGregor 
and his sons, who were the terror of the whole of Perthshire and the surrounding 
Central Highlands. Their robberies and outrages had kept the whole country in a 
state of foment, and gave the Campbells a pretext to charge their misdeeds to the 
whole clan ; thereby getting influence at court by their affected anxiety for the peace 
of the Highlands. Here is a lease granted by Sir Alexander to Glenstray, the Chief 
of the MacGregors. 

" Lease by Alexander Menzeis of Rannoch to John M'Gregor of Glenstray, of 
the twenty-merk land of Rannoch, ' fra the watter of Arachty est,' which had been 
held by the father of the said John for seven years for payment of 20/. yearly, and for 
the other customary service. The right is given to sublet the lands to any person 
except 'Duncan M'Gregor M'Phadrik, and his barnis.' Perth, 4th Oct. 1548." — 
Charter Room, Castle Menzies, No. 1 89. 

The above shows the kindly feeling which existed between the Menzies' and the 
MacGregors, and also that the MacGregors were the tenants and followers of the 
Menzies; Glenstray being the Chief of the MacGregors, he and the clan would follow 
the Menzies' into the field in the event of war as their tenants. 

Sir Alexander Menzies appears as witness to bonds of manrent at Strathphillane, 
between Glenurchy and John MacBey and his spouse, as we find on the 3rd of May 
1547 his signature is "Alexander Menzes of Rannocht." The next year he is one 
of the witnesses to a bond of manrent between "Johne Campbell of Glenurchquay, 

and Johne Menzeis of Rorow." This transaction was completed at the Menzies Castle 


178 THE "RED cV WHITE" BOOK OF MENZIES. [a.d. 1548-1550. 

on the Isle of Loch Tay, 3 1st August 1 548 ; where Alexander, as the lord of the place, 
signs first, "Alexander Menzeis of Rannoch," and is followed by other seven witnesses. 
On the 24th of July 1549 Alexander Menzies and his cousin Johne Meinzeis of 
Comry of that Ilk were witnesses to a very peculiar document of the Campbells, 
where Glenurchy makes sure of the main chance; and as it throws light on the way 
by which they came to possess some of their lands, we herewith give it : — 

"I.Kathryn Neyn Angus W'Allestar,the relict of wmquhil Lauchlan M'Olcallum, 
binds . . . me of my own free motife . . . that I shall abid at the counsall of . . . 
my maister, Johne Campbell of Glenurquhay, and . . . that I shall nocht mary nor 
in lamenry tak na man without I get the said Johne Campbellis consent thairto, 
and sichlike I shall not put nor tennend nor subtenand in my pairt of the landis of 
Achacha, lying in Benthirlocht, within the Lordschip of Lome and Shireffdom of 
Ergile, without that they be brocht in presence of the said Johne Cambell, and 
thereafter they be admitted by him ; and if so be that I . . . fail in ony point of the 
premisses . . . oblige's myself to renounce . . . all . . . title . . . that I [may] have 
heid or may have ... to the Landis of Achaca and Barnamuk ... to the said 
Johne Campbelle . . . and for the mair security ... by the extensioun of my right 
hand, has sworn upon the holy evengelist to stand ... to the same, at Glenurquhay, 
the xxiiii day of July, the year of God ane thousand fyfe hundretht and fourty-nyn 
yeiris, befor thir witnes — Alexander Menzes of Rannocht, Johne M'Nab of Bourian, 
Johne 'Meinzeis' of Comry of that Ilk, Duncan M'Ane M'Evyn, Johne M'Douquhy, 
Roy Duncan M'Gilleura, Sir Malcum M'Gillequhounil, Sir Dowgall M'Kellar, 
Johne Campbell of Iniyrlevir, Johne Leiche, Johne M'Evyn, Johne M'Lespy, officer 
of Glenurquhay, and Johne Clerk, Johne Mallcomson . . . Katrin Neyin Anngus 
W'Allester, with my hand leid at the pen be Johne Clerk M'Ane Wallich, 1549." — 
Black Book of Tay mouth, pp. 184, 186, 187. 

On the 22nd May 1550, Sir Alexander Menzies was witness to a bond of man- 
rent between Colin Campbell of Glenurchy, John MacCouche, and his son, at the 
Castle of Glenurchy — his signature is Alexander "Menyes of Rannocht." 

At this time the Menzies' had as tenants on their lands of Wester Morenish, at 
the west end of Loch Tay, a family of MacGregors, who had been there for many 
years. These lands the covetous Colin Campbell of Glenurchy being anxious to 
lease, and finding that Sir Alexander the Menzies could not be induced to break 
the bond of peace and friendship existing between the MacGregors and himself — 
Campbell was therefore compelled to cover up his designs and make a good 
face to the MacGregors, so as to induce them to assign to him their rights as 
tenants of these lands, and transfer possession of the tacks MacGregor held from 
Sir Alexander Menzies to Colin Campbell. Here is the assignation : — 

" Alexander M'Patrik V'Condoqhuy is become of his own free will a faithfull 
servant to Collyne Campbell of Glenurchquay, and his ayris, for all the dais of his 

a.d. 1550-1551.] THE RENOUNCER OF THE MASS. 179 

lifetime ... in contrar all persons, the authorite being excpit alanerly by that to 
rige ang gang on horse and foot in highlan and lowland, upon the said Collyny's 
expenses . . . and if it hapins any differance between the said Collyne, his heirs, and 
M'Gregour, his chief . . . the said Alexander shall not stand with ' ane of thame' 
but he shall be ane ewinly man for baith the parties . . . attour the said Alexander 
has made the said Collyne and his heirs his . . . ' assingnais ... to his takys ' . . . 
of any lands, and especially of the ten-merk land of Wester ' Morinche,' now 
occupied by the said Alexander and his sub-tennants, and also has ' nominat . . . 
the said Collyne and . . . his ayris . . . his executours and intromettours with all 
his ' goods moveable and immoveable that he hapins to have the time of his decese, 
and that in case [may] have any bairns lewand at that time, lawfully gotten . . . 
for the which the said Collyne and his heirs sail . . . defend the foresaid Alexander 
in all his just actions . . . the authoritie my Lord of Argyle, and their actions 
always excepted . . . Acta erant hec apud insulam de Lochthay horam circiter 
secundam post meredian . . . presentibus ibidem Alexandra Menyes de Rannocht, 
Joanne M'Emeweyr et Magistro, Willelmo Ramsay, notario-publico, testibus . . . 
10 Julii 1550." — Black Book of Taymouth, pp. 189-90. 

This document of agreement was completed before Alexander Menzies at the 
Menzies Castle and Isle of Loch Tay, 10th July 1550, it being necessary for the 
contracting parties to have his consent, he being the over-lord of these lands, by 
him witnessing them first as consenting to the transfer thereby. Sir Robert and his 
family, after the partial burning of Castle Menzies, had gone to their Castle of Loch 
Tay to reside until the old Castle of Weem or Menzies was repaired ; there the 
Campbells had to bring all their deeds in any way connected with the Menzies 
lordships, to be assented to by their being witnessed by them. 

Duncan MacGregor and his company of freebooters, on learning that Alexander 
M'Patrick MacGregor (who, as we have seen in the bond of manrent just given, 
became vassal to Colin Campbell of Glenurchy), were so enraged that they set upon 
him on Sunday, the 22nd November 1551, when he was slain by Duncan MacGregor 
and his son, Gregor. The slaughter of Alexander MacGregor by his kinsman 
incensed the Campbells against Duncan MacGregor, for this uncalled for and 
treacherous murder. In this Colin Campbell was supported by the neighbouring 
chiefs, who met at the Menzies Castle, on the Island of Loch Tay, and there agreed 
to pursue the murderers, as MacGregor and his followers had been a pest to the 
whole district. They also signed a bond of association, to which Alexander 
Menzies, as over-lord superior, is first witness. The bond is as follows : — 

"'Be it kend till all men . . . Ws, James Stewart, sone to Walter Stewart of 

Ballindoran, Alexander Dormond, and Malcome Dormond, younger, to have given 

our band of manrent to Colline Campbell, of Glennurquhay, and his heirs, Duncan 

Campbell, son and appearent heir to Archibald Campbell of Glenlioun, and his 

N 2 

i8o THE "RED 6- WHITE" BOOK OF MENZIES. [a.d. 1551-1552. 

heirs, for all the days of our lifetime, in all actiones, and, in speciale, that we shall 
dispone ourselves at our whole power (and) with our kiyn freyndis and part-takers, 
to invade and ' persew to the death, Duncan Laudosach M'Gregour, Gregour, his sone, 
thair servants, part-takers, and complices, in all bundis and contries where ever thay 
shall happen to make residense,' (for the) reason that they are our deadly enemies, 
and our soverine ladye's rebellis . . . And likewise shall be ready to serve the said 
Colline and Duncan, and their heirs, upon their expenses, both in the Highlands 
and Lowlands, against all manner of persons, the Queen's grace hir authoritie, the 
Earl of Menteytht, and Lord Drummond, allanerlie exceptit ... In witness of the 
which thing, because we could not subscribe our selfes, we have for Ws caused the 
notare underwritten, subscribe the same with our hands touching the pen, at the Isle 
of Locktay,the ix day of March, the yeir of God MV C " fiftie-ane yeir ( 1 5 5 1 ), before 
thir witnes — Allexander Menyeis of Rannocht, Thomas Grahame of Calzemuk, 
Andro Toscheocht of Mouse, David Toscheocht, Patrik Campbell, Johnn Mawire, 
and Andro Ouhit, notar-publict. 

James Stewart, with my hand at the pen. 

Allexander Dormound, with my hand at the pen. 

Ita est Andreas Ouhit, notarius-publicus." — Black Book of Taymouth, p. 192. 

Sir Alexander Menzies also witnessed a deed of bonds and manrent between 
Colin Campbell and Duncan MacGregor, on the 2nd May 1552, at the Isle of Loch 
Tay, within its Menzies Castle. 

Following up the bond of the 9th March 1 551, every effort was put forth to 
capture the murderers, and this seems to have been an arduous undertaking, and one 
which took the associates longer than had been expected, for they did not capture 
MacGregor and his sons until the month of June 1552. On the 16th of that month 
they suffered the last penalty of the law. It is described in the Chronicle of 
Fortingall, and is the most notable exercise of criminal jurisdiction which is 
recorded in the Chronicle. The translation runs thus : — 

" The slaying and beheading of Duncan MacGregour and his sons, namely, 
Gregour, and Malcolm Roy, for Colin Campbell of Glenurchy, and for Duncan Roy 
Campbell of Glenlyon, and Alexander Menzies of Rannoch, with their associates, 
on which day, John Gour MacDuncan, Vc. Alexander Kayr, was slain for 

Alexander Menzies, at in the month of June, to wit, the 16th day of June, 

the year of the Lord, 1552." 

We also give the original, as it appears in the book of the Chronicle of 
Fortingall, which is as follows : — 

" Interfcctio et dccptitatio Duncani M'Gregor et filiorum eius, videlicet, 
Gregorii, et Malcolmi Roy, per Colium Campbell de Glenurquhay, et per 
Duncanum Roy Campbell of Glenlyon, et Alexandrum Menzheis of Rannoch, 
cum suis complicibus, quo die, Joannes Goicr M' Duncan, Vc. Alexander Kayr, 

a.d. 1552.] THE RENOUNCER OF THE MASS. 181 

fuit intcrfectus per Alexanderum Menzeis, apud in mense Jiniii, videlicet, 

xvi anno Domini am MV C III. 

These journals of a baronial court give a very favourable impression of the 
way in which they were ordinarily conducted, and of the indispensable function 
they must have discharged throughout the Highlands, in familiarising the 
Highlanders with the highest sanctions, and with the regular operation of authority 
and of law, considered merely as a means of enforcing the few and simple rules and 
usages which a very rude condition of agriculture rendered necessary. By this 
stroke of law, for which Colin Campbell had got commission from the Crown, it at 
once brought to him the MacGregors of these districts to arrange terms. Following 
this, we have a succession of bonds of manrent between Colin Campbell and all the 
leading MacGregors, brought before and settled by the testation of Alexander 
Menzies of Rannoch, at his castle on the Isle of Loch Tay. The greater part of 
these MacGregors were his tenants, but, owing to the power invested in Colin 
Campbell by the then Government, as its detective and police officer, the bonds 
were between the MacGregors and Colin Campbell. 

The MacGregors, so long as they lived peacefully, were the kindly tenants on 
the Menzies' lands of Belloch, at the east end of Loch Tay, where the village of 
Kenmore now stands, but Colin Campbell of Glenurchy, armed with his powers 
from the Government against Clan Gregor, found a pretext against Gregor 
Dngallson, who occupied these lands, as he had not come forward and registered 
himself to him as the supervisor and executioner of the Government in those parts. 
He drove him out of house and home. This act is thus recorded in the Chronicle of 
Fortingall : — " The expulsion of Gregor Dugallson from Belloch, by Colin Campbell of 
Glenwrquhay,in the year of our Lord 1 5 52, at Whitsunda." It was this deed of injustice 
that led to these lands being let to this Campbell, which they still hold in feu-rent. 

David Duncanson, another of the Menzies tenants, having committed some 
offence, was so terror-struck by Colin Campbell's execution of Duncan MacGregor 
and his sons, that he thought it best to surrender himself, and therefore went to Sir 
Alexander the Menzies at his Castle, on the island of Loch Tay, and there 
signed the following bond before him as lord superior of the district : — 

" David Duncansoun, in the Carse of Apnadull, persauand the tyme dangerous, 
and for the defence of himself, his bairns, his goods and geir, dispones to Colyne 
Campbell of Glenurquhay, and Catherine Ruthven, his spouse, and their heirs, a 
bairn's part of all his goods ang gear, moveable and immovable, after his decease, 
binding himself not to put away any of his said goods, except for his own 
reasonable support, and choosing the said Colyne an Catherine, and their heirs, in 
proles adoptivas. Dated in .the Island of Lochtay, before witnesses — Alexander 
Menyeis of Rannocht, David Ruthven, Neil M'Avyr, and Mr William Ramsay, 
notary — 15 July 1552." — Black Book of Taymouth, p. 193. 

1 82 THE "RED & WHITE" BOOK OF MENZIES. [a.d. 1552. 

The above shows how the Campbells of Glenurchy became wealthy, for as soon 
as their dupes died, their whole goods went to Colin or his heirs. In this Jewish 
way they amassed money sufficient to purchase lands they as strangers rented. 

Another bond was concluded before Sir Alexander Menzies in his Island Castle 
of Loch Tay, which was then his place of residence as eldest son of the chief, who 
occupied Castle Menzies. This time the Campbells had as their victim one of the 
Clan Robertson. The bond reads as follows : — 

" Bond by Malcum Robertsone, Baron of Keirquhoun, to Colyne Campbell of 
Glenurquhay : the said Colyne Campbell of Glenurquhay being bound to defend 
the said Malcum Robertsone in his just quarrels against James Campbell of Laweris 
and all others, my Lord of Ergyle excepted. Dated at the Isle of Lochtay, before 
witnesses — Alexander Menzeis of Rannocht, Colin Campbell, son to the deceased 
Archibald Campbell of Glenlyoun, and Mr William Ramsay, notary — 
1 Aug. 1552." 

The poor MacGregors, being run down in every quarter by Colin Campbell, 
were in some cases compelled by him to yield up their allegiance to their chiefs. 
Here is a case brought before Sir Alexander : — 

"At the Isle of Lochtay, 3 Aug. 1552 — William M'Olcallum in Rannocht, 
Malcum, his son, and Donald Roy M'Olchallum Glass, binds and obligeds them, 
their heirs and bairns, and posteritie to be ' afald ' servants to Colyne Campbell of 
Glenurquhay and his heirs male, whome they have elected and chosen for their 
chief and master, renounced M'Gregor their auld chief and all others in the 
' contrar,' the authoritie always excepted, and that, because the said Colyne has 
delivered to them his letter of maintainance. And also the said persons, for 
themselves, and heirs, and successors, gives their calpis to the said Colyne, and his 
heirs conforme to the use thereof, and if it happins the said William, Malcum, or 
Donald to faill in the premissis, to pay to the said Colyne and his heirs, the sum of 
one hundred pounds money within 15 days after the same be tried and made 
manifist, and hereto the foresaid persons are bound and sworne upon the holy 
evangellis : presentibus — Alexandra Menyeis de Rannocht, Colino Campbell, filio 
Archibaldi Campbell de Glenlyoun, Patricio Campbell, et Joanne Leche, testibus 
vocatis. Villelmus Ramsye, notarius." 

The next day, 4th August 1552, Colane Campbell had up before Sir Alexander 
Menzies at his Island Castle of Loch Tay another victim, whom he compelled by a 
bond to take the name of Campbell, and acknowledge him as his chief. This 
bond reads : — 

"Jhone Leche alias Campbell, binds himself to Collin Campbell of 
Glenurchquay and his heirs, choosing them to be his chiefs, to serve them in (the) 
Highlands and Lowlands on horse and foot, upon the said Collysis and his heirs' 
expenses, whenever he be required, and also binds himself and his heirs their calpts ; 

a.d. 1552.] THE RENOUNCER OF THE MASS. 183 

both parties being bound to each other under the penalty of 100 merks Scots. 
Signed at the Isle of Lochtay, before witnesses — Alexander Menyeis of Rannocht, 
Gibbon M'Allester, William Rothwen, Martin M'Indonyn, and Mr William 
Ramsay, notary — 4th August 1552." — Black Book of Tay mouth, pp. 1 92-4. 

Other five MacGregors, whom Colin Campbell had struck with terror in case 
they should lose their heads by this headsman, were brought before the young 
chief of the Menzies' that he might be a witness to their submission to Colin 
Campbell, and their renunciation of their own chief. Their submission reads : — 

"Malcum M'Aynmally'cht, Donald, his brother, Duncan M'Neill V'Kewin, 
Willam and Malcum M'Neill V'Ewin, brothers to the said Duncan, renouncing 
M'Gregour their chief, bind themselves to Colyne Campbell of Glenurquhay, 
giveing him their calps ; the said Colyne being bound, either to defend them 
in their possessions, or to give them others within his own bounds ; both sides 
being bound under the penalty of £100 Scots. Signed at the Isle of Lochtay, 
before witnesses — Alexander Menyes of Rannocht, Patrick Campbell, Martin 
M'Indene, and Mr William Ramsay, notary — 4th August 1552." 

Sir James MacGregor, the dean of Lismore, having died in 155.1, Colin 
Campbell made an easy victim of his son, Gregor MacGregor, who was induced to 
renounce his chief, and acknowledge him as such. Accordingly he gave his bond to 
Campbell of Glenurchy, and for that purpose came before Sir Alexander Menzies. 
The bond reads : — 

" Gregour M'Gregour, son of the deceased Sir James M'Gregour, dean of 
Lesmoir, binds himself to Collin Campbell of Glenurchquay and his heirs, takeing 
them for his chiefs in place of the Laird of M'Gregour, and giveing them his calp, 
and binds his heirs to do the like ; both parties being bound under the penalty 
of £100. Signed at the Isle of Lochtay, before witnesses — Alexander Menyes of 
Rannocht, John Leche, John M'Emoweyr, and Mr William Ramsay, notary — 
2 1st August 1552." 

Colin Campbell, anxious to change the following of Clan Gregor to himself, 
under power of letters held by him from Government, pounced upon three 
MacGregors, tenants of Sir Robert Menzies of that Ilk, the aged chief who 
was then alive. Campbell, by his threats of the probable fate which awaited them, 
compelled them to become Campbells and renounce their chief. They tenanted 
part of the braes of Weem, and were brought before Sir Alexander Menzies, at his 
Island Castle, to sign the bond, as follows : — 

" Donald Beg M'Acrom, Duncane, and William his brother, dewelling in 
the Bray of Weyme, bind themselves to Colyne Campbell of Glenurquhay, 
having overgiven the Laird of M'Gregour their chief, his heirs and successors, 
and oblige themselves and their heirs to serve the said Colyne and his heirs 
in the Lowlands upon the expenses of the said Colyne, and in the Highlands 

1 84 THE "RED & WHITE" BOOK OF MENZIES. [a.d. 1552-1555. 

upon their own expenses, as the gentlemen of the country do, and to leave 
the said Colyne and his heirs their calps ; both sides being bound under the 
penalty of £100 Scots. Signed at the Isle of Lochtay, before witnesses — Alexander 
Menyeis of Rannocht, Malcum, Baron of Carquhonie, Patrick Campbell, James 
M'Ynstalker, and Andro Ouhit, notary — 9th Sept. 1552." — Black Book of 
Taymonth, pp. 195, 6. 

Sir Alexander Menzies witnessed a similar bond of manrent between 
Campbell of Glenurch and Donald M'Gelleqhoan and others, on the 4th 
November 1552; also to like bonds of manrent on the 21st December 1552, 
his name is appended as a witness, "Alexander Menyzeis of Rannocht." 

During the troubles of the minority of Queen Mary, the Highlands of Scotland 
were kept in a state of anarchy and disorder, being overrun by broken men, who 
plundered the peaceful and contented Highland farmers and gentlemen, which 
led to reprisals for each act of robbery. It was this state of things, along 
with the age and infirmity of his father, Sir Robert, which kept Sir Alexander 
Menzies so much at home at his castle on the island of Loch Tay. The influence 
of the venerable old chief must have had a pacifying effect on the MacGregors, as 
he got them to come and meet Colin Campbell, their old enemy, at the castle on 
the island in Loch Tay, and there a long list of bonds were signed, to which 
his son, Sir Alexander Menzies, as the superior, was witness. After these bonds 
were signed, it seems to have ended the visit of Colin Campbell to that part of the 
country, as Sir Alexander does not witness any until 1555, when a bond between 
Colin Campbell of Glenurchy and James Campbell of Laweris was made at 
Edinburgh, on the 6th May 1555 ; he, as witness, signing Alexander Menzeis of 
Rannocht. On 24th May 1555, he is again witness to a contract between "Colyne 
Campbell of Glenurchy and Ewir of Strachquhar, signing Alexander Menyes of 
Rannocht ; and again, 4th June 1555, he was a witness to a bond between Coloyne 
Campbell of Glenurchy and several others at Glenurchy Castle, where his name is 
also attached as Alexander Menzes of Rannocht, all three being different in 
spelling, then considered a mark of learning." 

It was about this time, while a better feeling had sprung up between the 
Regent Queen of Scotland and Mary of England, that Sir Alexander Menzies was 
sent to France as one of the Scottish ambassadors to arrange a matrimonial 
alliance. Several commissions were also sent from Scotland to England for 
the maintenance of peace and friendship between the two countries. This good 
state of matters, however, was soon altered by reports of war between France 
and England. The embassy from Scotland to France — of which Sir Alexander 
Menzies was one, to arrange the marriage between Queen Mary and the Dauphin — 
when on their way back from France, were by the command of Queen Elizabeth 
detained by the English, and examined by the Council of State as to the truth of 

a.d. 1555-1559.] THE RENOUNCER OF THE MASS. 185 

these reports. One of those examined was Sir Alexander Menzies, who being 
from the court of France was likely to know the intentions of the French, and 
from whom the English expected to get information. We give the entry from the 
English State papers, which reads : — 

" The examination or statements of two Scotchmen, James Fraser and 
Alexander Menzies, concerning their knowledge of certain reports as to the King of 
France's intention to make war against England — dated 1555." It is not recorded 
that they gave any information, being allowed to return home. 

In the year 1557, on the death of his father, Chief Sir Robert the Menzies 
of that Ilk, Sir Alexander Menzies of Rannoch came into possession of the 
whole of his father's estates, and from that date he dropped his title " of Rannoch " 
for that of the chief of the clan as " Menzies of Menzies." From the prudent 
manner in which Sir Alexander had conducted himself when apprehended by 
the English on his return from France, he seems to have gained the favour 
of the Queen Regent. At this time the caterans or MacGregors of Rannoch 
were a great source of annoyance by their robberies on the surrounding country 
and people. He therefore represented to the Queen Regent that he could not 
be responsible for the actions of these robbers called MacGregors, and received 
the following exemption : — 

" Letter by Mary of Guise, Queen Regent of Scotland, exempting Alexander 
Menzes of that Ilk from finding caution for MacGregors, his tenants in Rannoch, 
for seven years. 7th February 1559. 

" Regina. — We, understanding that it is (not) within the power of Alexander 
Menzes of that Ilk to ansuer for the gud reule of the Clangregour inhabitantis 
of the Rannoch, and that our chozing the Earl of Ergyle and Coline Campbell 
of Glenvrquhay hes the seruice of that clann, and that thai will do thare deligens 
to caus gud reule [be] kepit be the said clann, and for diuers vther resonable causis 
and considerationis moving ws, grantis and gevis licence to the said Alexander 
to set intak and assedatioun all and haill his tuenty-pund land of Rannock hand 
within the sherefdome of Perth, to the auld tenentis and inhabitantis thairof of the 
Clangregour for the space of sevin yeris ; and will and grantis that he nor his 
airis sail nocht be haldyn to our derrest dochter, nor ws, to ansuer for thair gud 
reule during the said seven yeirs, nor to enter tham to our lawes, our iustice airis, 
nor justice courtis for thair demeritis, nochtwithstanding the generall band maid 

be the [lord]is and landit men of the said S our said derrest dochter and 

ws thereupoun : Anent the quhilkis we dispens with hym be thir presentis, and 
panis contenit thairin. Gevin vnder signet. Subscriuit with our hand, at 
Edinburgh, vii day of Fabruar, the zeir of God. " MARIE R." 

This letter is from the Charter Room of Castle Menzies, No. 33. While 
it relieved Sir Alexander the Menzies from the responsibility of answering for 

1 86 THE "RED & WHITE" BOOK OF MENZIES. [a.d. 1561. 

the conduct of the MacGregors, his powers being sought by the Campbells was 
handed to them by the Government, as the police and executors of the law, who 
had no compunction for them, but used their power to further their own ends. 

Sir Alexander the Menzies had, on the death of his father, become heir 
to the lands of " Carnelopis," now Carlops, in the barony of Linton ; but, although 
served heir, had not yet got possession. He, therefore, applied to the Queen 
Regent, and received the following letter and order : — 

" Letter in name of Queen Mary, and given under the signet at Edinburgh, 
30 March 1558 — Narrating that a complaint had been made by Alexander 
Menzeis of that Ilk, that he had raised a breef of the regality of James, Earl 
of Morton, superior, whereupon he had been served and retoured to the other 
quarter parts of the lands of Carnelopis, in the barony of Lyntoun ; but though 
the inquest served affirmatively, and Sir John Rannald, Clerk of Court, had 
made a retour thereon, yet he defers to close the said retour, with the brief 
enclosed, and deliver it to the said Alexander, causing him to ' tyne the Witsonday 
maillis of his said lands ' : Charging, therefore, John Menzeis, sheriff in that part, 
to enquire the said Sir John to close - the retour, and deliver it to the said 
Alexander Menzeis within six days after being required, ' under the pain of 
rebellion.' " — Charter Room, Castle Menzies, No. 203. 

These lands were possessed for many generations by the Menzies', and are 
now known by the village of Carlops, in the parish of Linton, in Peeblesshire. 
These lands stand on its northern verge, on the right bank of the North Esk, 
on the road from Edinburgh to Dumfries, about 14 miles from Edinburgh. 
On its lands there is a lonely glen, where, at a place called the Howe, is a 
beautiful linn, which seems to have inspired the poet to sing that it was they 

" That taught the Doric Muse 
Her sweetest song. The hills, the woods, the streams, 
Where beauteous Peggy stray'd, list'ning the while 
Her gentle shepherd's tender tale of love." 

These lands and district have long been famous for their Cheviot breed 
of sheep, also for white freestone. Coal is mined at Carlops, at Coalyburn, and 
Whitefield, and lime is also burned in the district. The Menzies' possessed one 
quarter of the parish, which is 10^ miles by about 7^ miles. The North Esk 
runs through its north - eastern boundary, into which the rivulet Carlops 
empties itself. 

Sir Alexander the Menzies, anxious to help the MacGregors who would live 
quietly, granted unto John MacGregor a lease in his lordship of Apnadull, which 
were held in feu-farm by the monks of Dull. This lease of the farms was renewed 
from time to time, and runs thus : — 

Queen Mary's Cabinet, with her Cipher under the Scottish Arms 

and her Portrait over it. 

In the Queen Mary Drawing-Room, Castle Menzies. 

a.d. 1561-1562.] THE RENOUNCER OF THE MASS. 187 

" No. 28. Charter of few-farm of the lands of Dull by David Guthrie, vicar 
of Dull, and John Wyram, usufructuary thereof, with consent of the Lord James, 
commendator of St Andrews and of the convent (13 in number) in favour of 
John McGrigar. St Andrews, 14 Februaray 1561." — From Inventory 0/1656. 

There is also with the above papers in the Charter Room of Castle 
Menzies — 

" No. 29. The Instrument of Sasine, following on the Precept granted in 
terms of the above charter, dated 15 March 1561." 

Queen Mary landed at Leith from France on the 19th of August 1561. 
She was dressed in black, trimmed with ermine round the neck. A portrait, 
painted as she then appeared, has been in the possession of the branch family 
of Menzies to which the writer belongs, for generations, and is said to have been 
given as a present to an ancestor by one of the Earls of Home, and has been 
handed down as an heirloom to the author. In the autumn of the following 
year, after the arrival of the queen in Scotland, she made a visit to the Highlands 
and northern portions of the kingdom. It was on her way northwards that she 
visited the Chief Sir Alexander the Menzies at Castle Menzies. The chief was 
now an old man, and his venerable appearance and kindly Highland hospitality 
gained for him and his son James, afterwards chief, the favour of the queen, who 
ever afterwards, in her visits to the Highlands, made Castle Menzies her home. 
As an acknowledgment of her friendship and goodwill to Sir Alexander the 
Menzies, she sent him a present of a beautiful cabinet and settee, both richly 
carved in dark oak. 

"The QUEEN MARY CABINET" at Castle Menzies stands about 7 feet high 
by about 4 feet broad. It is surmounted by a beautiful carved cornice of some 
7 members. Under the cornice is a convex frieze richly carved. Below the 
projecting cornice and frieze is a large front panel forming a door, which folds 
down so as to form an escritoire or desk. On the front panel are the full Scottish 
arms carved out in relief, with the cipher of Queen Mary FL[^ under them. 
Round the border of the panel are entwined Scotch thistles, forming a continuous 
chain round the Scottish arms, with several mouldings on either side. These 
portions form the top part of the cabinet, all " richly dite " with carving. The 
under half of the cabinet projects about 3 inches all round from the upper. The 
projection forms on its top an elegantly carved ogee moulding, under which are 
three drawers, each of different depths. The fronts of each of the drawers form 
a panel, upon which are carved festoons of Scotch thistles hanging from the 
knobs or handles, each being different in design. At the base is a broad 
projecting moulding, showing about 10 lines. Altogether, it is a charming bit 
of old Scottish art. 

In the old drawing-room of Castle Menzies there are still two pieces of 

1 88 THE "RED & WHITE" BOOK OF MENZIES. [a.d. 1563. 

tapestry, which were there when Queen Mary resided in the castle. The room 
is now known by the name of " Queen Mary's drawing-room." The larger piece 
of tapestry is about 17 feet long by about 8 feet high, and is in very good 
preservation. It represents one of the classic allegorical subjects. From the right 
enters a procession of children or cupids with a goat, upon which one of them 
is riding, supported by another, to the sound of music and cymbal, with dancing 
fauns going before. One of the children is carrying a Roman or Grecian standard. 
On the other side of the tapestry picture is a large spreading tree, into which 
a fair child has climbed to see what is passing below, and holds in its hand a 
large branch covered with roses, while one of the fauns is also trying to climb 
the tree. In the background stands a classic mansion or palace ; the whole 
forming a beautiful picture, well-balanced, and in harmony with the surroundings. 

The second piece of tapestry in the " Queen Mary drawing-room " represents 
somewhat the same class of subject, having four children, one of which is in the 
act of being flung from a goat, which is rearing with fright at a mask which 
one of the children holds in front of his face to scare him, while another of the 
children is running to catch the goat. In the background stands a classic mansion. 
This piece of tapestry forms an upright panel at the south wall of the room, being 
about 8 feet high by about 7 feet broad. In the same room stands the " Queen 
Mary " cabinet. The ceiling of the room is a most effective piece of plaster-work, 
having a drooping centre, from which spreads out at right angles from its square 
ornamental centre the figures of the thistle, rose, harp, and fleur-de-lis. 

After the partial burning of the castle by Neil Stewart, and on Sir Alexander 
learning that Mary Queen of Scots was going to make Castle Menzies her home 
for some time during her visits to the Highlands, he had it repaired, and the 
emblems of the countries over which she reigned as queen moulded in relief upon 
the ceiling. The Queen Mary drawing-room appears to be much the same as 
when she dwelt in this Highland castle. 

By her residence at Castle Menzies the queen got to understand somewhat 
of Highland life, with the condition of the "old tenants of the Menzies." She also 
learned from Sir Alexander about the persecuted MacGregors, how they had been 
forced from their dwellings by the Campbells ; on learning which " a bright gleam 
came over Queen Mary," who for a moment applied her sound political judgment 
to the situation. She then wrote to her friend, in the year 1563, Sir Alexander 
the Menzies, on behalf of the Clan Gregor, who had been ejected for their misdeeds, 
and Queen Mary thus pleads for the poor MacGregors : — " As they cannot live 
without some roumes, we pray yow to permit them to occupy the same lands they 
had of yow before, and make them reasonable takkis thereupon usual terms, as ye 
will do us thankfull pleasure. Marie R." — Nisbets Plates, by Andrew Ross, 
S.S.C, & F.SA. Scot, p. 156. 










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O 1 

a.d. 1563.] THE RENOUNCER OF THE MASS. 189 

Sir Alexander at the time of his death was about 62 years of age, being born 
about 1 501. His death must have happened in the discharge of some duty when 
in Perth, as we find that Sir Alexander the Menzies of that Ilk died on the 
7th March 1563 at Perth. He was one of the first Highland chiefs to become 
Protestant, for which he was surnamed the " Renouncer of the Mass." His death 
is thus recorded in the Cronykil of Fortingall : — 

" Obiit Allexander Menses de eodem apnd Perth et sepultus abidem septimo die 
Mertii anno Domini MV C sexta tre yeris. Abremintianit nissam et sacramentum 

Translation : — 

7th March 1563. Alexander Menzies of that Ilk died at Perth, and was buried 
away at " Weem," on the 7th day of March 1563. He Renounced the MASS 
and Sacrament of the Altar. 

Sir Alexander Menzies married, first, Janet Campbell, of whom he had a 
son and heir and a daughter. 

1st. James Menzies, afterwards Chief, born about the year 1523. 

He married, secondly, Catherine MacGhie — the contract of marriage is in 
Castle Menzies Charter Room — by whom he had three sons, who are — 

2nd. James Menzies, the ancestor of the branch family of Culdares, who 
is mentioned in the latter will and testament of Sir Alexander Menzies of that 
Ilk, in the possession of the Menzies' of Culdares. 

3rd. George Menzies. 

4th. Thomas Menzies of " Drone," who is mentioned in the latter will and 
testament of Sir Alexander, in the possession of Menzies of Culdares, who got 
a feu-charter from John, Archbishop of St Andrews-, of the lands of Kyrkhill 
to him and his wife, Margaret Ogilvey, dated 1563. 

5th. Alexander Menzies of " Carmloxis." The lands of his estate lay in 
Glenlyon, and took their name from the mountain now called " Carn-a-Marice," 
which stands 3390 feet above sea-level. He appears as cautioner to a bond for 
300 merks, 24th August 1594. 

1st. Daughter by Janet Campbell, his first wife. Miss Menzies, who married 
William Robertson of Struan in 1546, through which marriage Robertson got the 
lands of Struan in liferent from the Menzies', their lords superior. 

i go THE "RED & WHITE" BOOK OF MENZIES. [a.d. 1563. 


Chieftain Robert Menzies of Comry, Captain of Clan Menzies, who 
figures as a witness to documents of the times of 1560-61, 1563-85, and 1586, 
connected with bonds of manrent. 

John Menzies, brother to the above, who is also a frequent witness to 
deeds of manrent, as in 1559-60, &c. 

John Menzies, who was Sheriff of Peeblesshire, and was ordained to see 
Sir Alexander installed in his possessions of Linton, 1558. 

Chieftain Thomas Menzies of Pitfodels, Lord Provost of Aberdeen, 
1558-67; also sat in the Parliament of Queen Mary at Edinburgh, 29th 
November 1558. 

Chieftain Gilbert Menzies of Pitfodels, Provost of Aberdeen, 1567; 
also sat in the Parliament of Queen Mary, 16th April 1567. 

" Patrik MENZEIS," Bailie of Aberdeen, sat in the Convention of Royal 
Burghs at Edinburgh, 17th April 1567, also at Dundee, 1st July 1575. 

Rev. Edward Menzies, Chaplain of the Altar of the Haly-ruid in Saint 
Nicholes Church of Aberdeen. To this office he was elected on the nth June 
1542 by "the hail Counsell, who gave and granted to their lovet servitour Maister 
Eward Menses their chaplanael and alter of the haly ruid in the organ loft," &c. 
This honourable position he held up to about 1577 ; in the intervening time many 
notices of great interest relating to him are recorded. 

Old Tapestry in the Queen Mary Drawing-Room, Castle Mekzies. 

Cbief 3amea tbe "flDein^cis/' 5\et from flDa^nus, ano 
I4tb Baron of fll>en3ies ; 


A.D. 1523-1585. 

CHIEF JAMES THE MENZIES, during the lifetime of his father, married 
the Hon. Barbara Stewart, eldest daughter of John, fourth Earl of Athole, 
by his second wife, who was the youngest daughter of John, sixth Lord 
Forbes. — Nisbet, p. 244, vol. ii. The young chief married this lady in 
1540, the contract of which marriage is in the Charter Room of Castle Menzies. 
On the death of his father, Sir Alexander, the young Chief James succeeded 
to the whole possessions and estates of Menzies, on the 7th of March 1563. 
He was born about the year 1523, and was therefore of such an age as to fit him for 
combating with the stirring times through which he lived. He figured during his 
father's lifetime under him at the first siege of the Castle of St Andrews, and 
in connection with several other important incidents. He was in attendance 
on Queen Mary on her first visit to Castle Menzies, and the remembrance of 
her many visits to the country of the Menzies' seems never to have been forgotten 
by Mary, who afterwards called Chief James her " Traist Freind" — true 

On the resumption of the siege of the Castle of St Andrews in June 1547, 
he appears to have commanded a portion of the clan ; and, on its capture, the 
clan returned home. Towards the end of October 1 547, the " Fiery Cross " was 
again sent round the vale of the Menzies', Lochs Tay, Rannoch, and Tummel, 
with other parts of the Menzies country, at the call of the Chief and the Regent 
Arran to defend Scotland against the English. The clan and their young Chief 
James mustered with the Scottish army at Musselburgh. They appear to have 
formed part of the Earl of Angus' column, which stood like a wall at the battle of 
Pinkie. They withstood the charge of the whole force of the English horse, and 
drove them off without losing a man. Angus not being supported by Campbell 
of Argyle nor Huntly's columns, his square was forced to retreat ; Argyle and 

i 9 2 THE "RED &• WHITE" BOOK OF MENZIES. [a.d. 1560-1563. 

Huntly's divisions then fled in disorder. The English pursued till near 
Edinburgh. In this conflict the Scots and Clan Menzies suffered great loss. 

Chief James the Menzies was one of the Highland Chiefs who sat in the 
Parliaments of Queen Mary as Baron Menzies and Lord of Rannoch. We find his 
name recorded in the Parliamentary Rolls, as being present at a Parliament of 
Mary Queen of Scots, held at Edinburgh, on the 17th of August 1560. " Sederant 
James Meinyeis of that Ilk." 

Some time before 1563, Colin Campbell of Glenurchy had let to him in life- 
rent from the Menzies', a lease of part of the Loch Rannoch lands, procured 
by Campbell under his powers of police supervision of the Clan Gregor, but 
finding that the MacGregors made it rather hot for him, he entered into a bond of 
agreement with Ranald MacDonald, the chieftain of the Keppoch sept of the clan 
MacDonald, that he might aid him. He, therefore, sublet to him part of these 
lands, so that the MacDonalds should support him in his quarrels with the 
MacGregors and other tenants on the Menzies' lands, whom he had power to 
plunder of all their goods as being " our soverane Lady's rebells? The bond 
reads, as follows : — 

"At Balloch, the 25 April 1563. It is agreed between Colyne Campbell 
of Glenurquhay on the one part, and Rannald M'Ranneld M'Couilglas of Cappycht 
' Keppoch ' on the other part, in manner following, the said Colyne haveing of our 
soverane Lady the gift of escheit of the Clangregour, now being our soverane 
Lady's rebels, of their takes, rowmis, stedings, guids and geir ; and also haveing off 
James Menyeis, the Laird of Weyme, in liferent the twelve merk land of Rannocht, 
on the west side of the watter of Erachtie to haif set in assedatioun to the said 
Rannald, his heirs male, and subtenents of no higher degree nor himself, the 
twenty pound land of Rannocht auld extent, with their pertenants, with the 
lock Isle and fishings of the same, for all the days that the said Colyne or his 
heirs has entres to the foresaid lands, with corns, crops, plenishing upon the 
said lands, except the goods and gear within Glenco and my Lord of Ergile 
bundis pertaining to the said Coline by the escheit, with power to set the said 
lands to subtennants of lower degree nor himself, of any surname (the Clangregour 
alwas excepted), paying yearlie for the foresaid twelve merk land of Rannocht ten 
pundis maill to the said Coline dureing his liferent, and also for the lands on the 
east side of Erachtie dureing the gift of the takis of the said Colyne's escheit 
mailis and dewties use and want conforme to the payment that M'Gregour should 
have made James Meingeis, the Laird of Weyme. And after the furthering of the 
said Colyne liferent and takis, he and his heirs shall do their exact diligens in 
obtening of new takis or liferent upon all the foresaid lands, and thereafter make 
the said Rannald and his heirs tytill thereof to be held of the said Colyne and his 
heirs for such malis and other dewties as they shall obtain the same, and the said 










a.d. 1563-1564.] THE "TRAIST FREIND" OF QUEEN MARY. 193 

Colyne and his heirs shall defend the said Rannald and his heirs and subtennants 
in the foresaid lands, so long as the said Colyne and his heirs has richt to the same, 
and also in all their honest querrellis against all . . . the Queen's Majestie and the 
Erie of Ergile excepted, for the which the said Rannald obliges him, his heirs, 
friends, servants, and part-takers to be leill trew servants to the said Colyne and his 
heirs in all their just quarrels against all, the Queen's Majestie, hir authority 
excepted, and the said Rannald shall labour and manure the foresaid lands of 
Rannocht, and make his principal residence thereupon, ay, and untill he may bring 
the same to quietnes for the common weill of the Countrie, and shall not suffer 
any of the Clangregour to have entries or intromission of the foresaid lands, and 
also shall keep the forrests and woods of the said lands, and keep the said Colyne 
and his heirs scaythtles thereof at all hands, quhom efferis and inhabitants of 
the said lands of Rannocht to serve the said Colyne and his heirs AS THEY SHALL 
BE REQUIRED 'BY THE Laird OF Weem,' and no other under the authorite, and 
that at the command of the said Rannald and his heirs. Atour the said Rannald 
and his heirs foresaid obliges them to persew at their uttermost power so many of the 
Clangregour as are now our soverane Lady's rebellis, and apprehend and bring 
them to the said Colyne and his heirs, to be puneist according the laws, and in 
case they may not be tane, to be slane conform to our soverane Lady's commission, 
given thereupon, for stauching of such malefactors, and the said Rannald and his 
heirs shall not tak the foresaid lands of Rannocht at the hands of any others 
except the said Colyne and his heirs, or at the leist without licence, in witness of the 
which thing both the said parties subscribed this present contract before thir 
witness — Robert Menyes of Cumry, James Menyes, his brother-german, Oliver 
Murray, James Ruthven, Dugal M'Roy M'Lauchlin, Alexander M'Ane V'Angus, 
and Andro Quhit, notar-public — Colin Campbell of Glenarquhay. 

Rananal M'Rannald M'Couilglas of Cappycht, with my hand at the pen." 

— Black Book of Taymouth, p. 206. 

Immediately after the arrangement was concluded, the MacDonalds of Kep- 
poch (acting under the crafty guidance of Campbell of Glenurchy) commenced to 
rebuild the dismantled Menzies Fort or Castle of the Isle of Loch Rannoch (which, 
by an order of James V., had been demolished, as it was always a source of consider- 
able disturbance to the neighbourhood), the aim being to drive the MacGregors 
from the lands of Rannoch and hold their goods under Glenurchy's warrant. 

Queen Mary again visited Castle Menzies and the Vale of the Menzies' in 
Athole, in the month of August 1564. The Chief James the Menzies received the 
queen with loyal Highland hospitality, as only Highland chiefs in those days could 
do. She had in this visit the pleasure of using the magnificent cabinet she had 
presented to his father. She also used the settee she had given him, which is 
thought to have been reserved for her use when attending religious worship in 

i 9 4 THE "RED cV WHITE" BOOK OF MENZIES. [a.d. 1563-1564. 

St David Menzies' Auld Kirk o' Weem. A description of this grand old relic 
will be of interest : — 

" The Queen Mary Settee " at Castle Menzies is made of black oak. 
It is about 7 feet long by about 5 feet high over all at the back. The " haffits," or 
end posts, have a gracefully curved projection to the front above the seat, forming 
an arm-rest at each end. The exterior of the haffits gradually taper concavely 
from the arm-rests upwards for about 24 inches, when they curve outward, inward, 
and upward, with a half fleur-de-lis terminal at the top of each. The carving on the 
haffits' exterior is a rich diaper of Celtic design, each of the diamond shapes being 
similar, but still different. The greater number of the diper sections are so designed 
that, on close examination, a distinct cross is found. Round the inner and outer 
edge of the haffits run a border (following the curves of its outline) of a beautiful, 
chaste design of " The Ash" — the badge of Clan Menzies. The back is formed of 
3 horizontal " rails," each richly carved. The carving on the top rail is a running 
pattern, which forms in its centre the fleur-de-lis, erect and suspended. The centre 
and bottom rails are also carved with a running waved design (both different) of a 
floral Celtic character. The bottom and centre rails are connected by 6 intermediate 
upright " styles," each carved to show a branch of " The Ash." Between the styles 
are 7 exquisitely carved panels, forming a diamond in the centre, of Celtic design, 
emblematical of the 7 branches of the clan. Between the top and centre rails are 

3 vertical styles (carved to represent branches of " The Ash "), forming between them 

4 elongated panels, also carved with floral Celtic designs. On the top rail stand 
3 vertical terminals, representing carved fleur-de-lis. There are also 2 half styles 
attached to the hafflts, richly carved, with 2 half fleur-de-lis terminals to each, 
balancing the design, and leaving 3 spaces between the terminals. The spaces are 
filled in with 4 richly carved creatures of the Celtic imagination, representing 
something between a dragon, lizard, and a dolphin. The seat rail is carved of a 
continuous design which displays fleur-de-lis entertwined with each other, the whole 
being a grand example of harmony in Celtic art. 

As a mark of her residence in Castle Menzies, Queen Mary had granted them 
the right to have a panel with the royal arms of Scotland sculptured out on the 
front of Castle Menzies, the same as on her cabinet. This, it is thought, was done 
immediately after her first visit, and is still in splendid preservation. The panel 
is above the windows of the old banqueting hall, about the centre of the front 
elevation of the castle. On examination, it can be seen where the panel has been 
fitted in, as there are several small stones put in to fill up the spaces around the 
outer edges of the panel. 

In addition to the Queen Mary drawing-room, already referred to, there is 
connected to it by a narrow passage what must have been " Queen Mary's Boudoir " ; 
and here is another piece of what is called the " Queen Mary Tapestry," from her 

k" ... ', '^st i i li • 


Tapestry in Queen Mary's Boudoir, Castle Menzies. 
Classic Fountain with Children Playing. 


having had this room set apart for herself. The subject of the tapestry seems to be 
a connecting picture to the others already described, and is classic, representing on 
its left side a fountain, where the chief figure is a nude cupid pouring water out of a 
jug into a vase held by another cupid. Round the basin are four children, one 
of whom has been knocked over, and another is pouring water over him. The 
whole is artistic, and at the same time humorous. The colour has been exquisite, 
although now faded. It measures about 7 feet broad by about 8 feet high. 

" Queen Mary's Bed Chamber " is still one of the venerated apartments of 
Castle Menzies ; it is right above the east end of the old banqueting hall, and in 
commemoration of her having used it, the ceiling has been ornamented with 
decorative plaster work. In the centre are 2 circular mouldings, from which branch 
4 mouldings, dividing the ceiling into 4 quarters. Round the outer ring of the 
centre and within each quarter are moulded out in strong relief, the THISTLE, ROSE, 
HARP, and FLEUR-DE-LIS, twice repeated, and are also intersected at 4 points by an 
ornamental vase with flowers. Within the double ring of the centre circles are 
4 pairs of reclining nude figures. Within this again, in the centre of all, is a 
marriage escutcheon (fitted in afterwards) showing the marriage of a Menzies 
on the right (male), with a Campbell on the left (female), dated 1660. The 
4 dividing bars stretching out from this main centre connect it with 4 smaller 
circles, and within these are 4 winged angelic heads. In the centre of each 
is a monogram consisting of the letters D. M. 

It was while Queen Mary was on this visit to the chief of Clan Menzies that 
he informed Her Majesty of the action of Colin Campbell of Glenurchy, who had 
far exceeded his licence against Clan Gregor, and pointed out that all these old 
tenants of his and his forefathers were being driven off his lands ; and instead of 
the MacGregors, was bringing in strangers to Rannoch, causing many families of 
the MacGregors (who were his peaceful tenants) to be destitute and starving. The 
queen was so much affected by these representations that she determined to put a 
stop to the actions of ' the greedy Campbells ' of Glenurchy, in their acts of 
spoliation on the MacGregors, and also to stop them in erecting the fortress on 
the Menzies Isle of Rannoch. Accordingly, she had a letter drawn out while at 
Castle Menzies. She was at the time preparing to attend a royal stag-hunt, then 
being organised as a part of her entertainment while in the Highlands. On 
arriving at the hunting-ground (where a booth was erected for her) the queen signed 
her letter, and appears to have handed it to Chief James the Menzies, who had an 
official copy made of it, which is as follows : — 

Letter by Mary Queen of Scots to Colin Campbell of [Glenurchy], in 

reference to the MacGregors in Rannoch, &c, and dated at Glentilt (in Athole), 

3rd August 1 564 : — 

" Traist freind, we greit yow wele. We remember we disponit to yow the 

o 2 

196 THE "-RED 6- WHITE" BOOK OF MENZIES. [a.d. 1564. 

escheitis of certaine personis of the Clangregour, duelland in the Rannoch, and be 
that way sute ye the entres to thair stedingis ; and we ar informit that ye have 
plasit Makrannald in the samin rowmes quhairof the heretage pertenis to ' James 
Meingeis,' the Laird of Weym, and thairof Mackgregour had neuir takkis of him. 
We are suirlie informit that the said Mackrannald is alreddy to big ane hous and 
strenth within the He of Lochrannoch, and to laubour the grind of the lands 
adicent ; quhilk hous wes castin doun and distroyit at command of our fader of 
guid memory, as your self hes laithe done sen syne. And sen it hes allwayis bene 
a receptacle and refuge to offendouris, we waitt nocht to quhat effect the biging of 
it or any strenth in the Heland suld serve without our speciall command, and 
that the causis wer of befoir considerit be ws and our counsale. For to output 
the Glengregour and impute vther brokin men of the like condition, all wayis sic 
as of any continewance wer neuir permanent in our obedience, we jugeit nocht 
mete nor expedient to be done. And, thairfoir, our plesour is, that ye causs the 
werk begun in the He within the said loch to ceiss ; and not that onlie, bot all 
vther innouatioun quhairof your nychbouris may justelie complene, especiallie the 
inbringing of strangeris of vther clannis and cuntres. Bot lat all thingis rest 
without alteratioun our returning, and than mete was other at Sanct Johnstoun 
or Dunde, as ye heir of our dyett, quhair we sail tak sik ordour in this behalf 
as apertenis to your ressonable contentment. Subscriuit with our hand, at the 
Lunkartis in Glentilth, the third day of August 1564. 

Marie R." 
— Contemporary Official Copy, in Charter Room of Castle Menzies. 

On Her Majesty appending her name to the foregoing, she then proceeded to 
attend the stag-hunt, accompanied by the Chief of the Menzies and other Highland 
chiefs, the Highlanders having built for Queen Mary the hunting-house. This 
building, on the conclusion of the hunt, was set on fire and burnt to the ground. 
No trace of it can now be found within Glentilt. 

Following up the letter of remonstrance to Colin Campbell, a summons was 
issued by Queen Mary, in which she refers to her visit to the Chief " James Menzeis 
of that Ilk ;" a contemporary copy of which is in Castle Menzies Charter Room, 
and reads thus : — 

" Summons in the name of Queen Mary and under the signet at Edinburgh, 
29th September 1564, on the narrative that a complaint had been made by 
James Menzeis of that Ilk, and that whereas he had the lands of Rannoch 
and forestry thereof in few farm heritably ; and because Coline Campbell of 
Glenurquhay, and Ranald M'Ranald M'Couilglas, under pretext of a gift of escheat 
to the said Colin of the goods of the Laird M'Grigor, the Queen's rebel, and at the 
horn had intruded themselves wrongously in the Isle of Lochrannoch, and the said 
James's lands of Rannoch 'be-est the vatter of Erachtie,' and were bigging and 

a. d . 1 5 64.] THE " TRAIST FREIND " OF Q UEEN MAR V. 197 

fortifying the said isle to the trouble of the whole country ; the said Ranald and 
his complices being of the Clanrannald and Clanchamroun and 'vtheris of the 
maist broken clanns within oure realm.' That the said James MEINGEIS had 
complained of this to the Queen at her late being in Atholle in the Lunkairtis ' ; where 
being in her progress she could not take order for reformation thereof, but 
wrote to the said Coline to cease from building in the said isle, and bringing 
in of strangers of other clans and countries, and to meet the Queen on her 
return, either at St Johnstoun or Dundie, where she would take such order as 
might appertain to his reasonable contentment : Nevertheless, they had still 
continued to fortify the said isle : And that when the Queen had given the said 
Coline, gratis, the gift of the escheat, it was for the expulsion of the Clan Gregour, 
and not under pretence of it to fortifie the said isle, which strenth had been 
demolished in her father's time, and again at her command by the said Coline ; nor 
had ever command been given to repair it or occupy the said James Meingeis 
lands, to which the Clangregour had no right ; far less would it be allowed to 
place in the said James's lands the Clanrannald and Clanchamroun, who, if once 
permitted to get possession, would ever after claim kindness thereto : That the said 
Coline had met the Queen at her home-coming at Perth, and was commanded by our 
bruther James, Earl of Murray, to come to Edinburgh, to answer the said complaint, 
which he had failed to do. Summoning the said Coline, therefore, to appear before 
the Queen and the Lords of her Council within 10 days after warning." — No. 204. 

These letters of Queen Mary show that, during this part of her reign at least, 
she had a sympathetic ear to the wrongs of her subjects. The memory of her 
friendly visits to the Chief James the Menzies make his descendants highly prize 
the many relics of the unfortunate Queen. A portrait of Queen Mary, painted in 
oil by Sir John Medina, is still preserved in the old Queen Mary drawing-room at 
Castle Menzies. It was exhibited in the International Exhibition of Glasgow in 
1887, in the Royal Stewart collection of the Bishop's Palace, along with the Queen 
Mary Cabinet already described. 

Colin Campbell, not having complied with the injunctions of the foregoing 
letter, was summoned before the Privy Council, The following is the record given 
of the case before the Lords of Queen Mary's Council : — 

"Reign of Queen Mary. 

" Complaint — Menzies of tat Ilk, against Campbell of Glenurchy and M'Rannald 
of Keppoch, for wrongous intrusion on his isle in Loch Rannoch and its fortification, 
parties cited, and charged to remove from the isle, unless cause be showen for posses- 
sion. Fortification and placeing of broken men and Highlanders therein prohibited." 

James Menzies of that Ilk recovers the isle of Loch Rannoch, seized from him, 
at Edinburgh, 19th October 1564. 

198 THE "RED & WHITE" BOOR OP MENZIES. [a.d. 1564. 

" The quilk day, anent our Soverane Ladiis letters, purchest be James Menzeis 
of that Ilk agains Coline Campbell of Glenurquhy, for the wrangus intrusion of 
himself, and of Rannald M'Rannald M'Couilglas of Keppoch, and utheris in 
his name, in the isle within the Loch of Rannoch, pertening heretabillie to said 
James, and fortification thairof, the Ouenis Magesteis inhibitioun maid in the 
contrair, and anent the charge gevin to the said Coline to haif comperit befoir hir 
Hienes and Lordis of Secreit Counsall at ane certane day bigane, to haif ansuerit 
to the said James' complaint, with certificatioun, and he failyeit hir Majestie, and 
the saidis Lordis wald proceid and tak ane ordour anent the samyn complaint, as 
appertenit of ressoun, lyke as at mair lenth is contenit in the saidis lettres. The 
said James Menzeis comperand personalie, and the said Coline being callet, nowther 
comperit personalie himself, nor any in his name, fully instructed with his mynd 
and havand his power ; thairfor the Lordis of Secreit Counsall ordanis lettres to be 
direct to officiaris of the Quenis Sherefns in that part, chargeing thame to pas 
command, and charge the said Coline Campbell to compeir befoir the Ouenis 
Majestie and thair Lordschipis at Edinburgh, or quhair it sal happin thame to be for 
the tyme, upoun the secund day November nix-to-cum, to heir him be decernit to 
remove himself, the said Rannald M'Rannald, and all utheris, his partakaris and 
servandis, furth of the said He in the said Loch Rannoch, and deliver the samyn to 
the said James Menzeis, to be usit be him at his plesour thaireftir as his heretage, 
or ellis to allege ane ressonabill caus quhy the samyn sould nocht be done ; with 
certificatioun to him, and he failye, that lettres salbe direct to charge him simpliciter 
thairto, and als the said Coline to ansure upoun his contempt in dissobeying the 
Quenis Majesteis writting send to him, inhibitand all fortificatioun of the said 
He, and placeing of brokin men of far Hielandis and clannis thairin ; and for the 
wrangus fortificatioun and bigging of the said He, eftir the presenting of the said 
writting to him, with certificatioun to him, and he failye, ordour sal be takin 
thairanent for dew punisement of the said Coline, as appertenis of ressoun." — Reg. 
Prv. Co/., Scot., pp. 289, 290, vol. i. 

Decree having been given in absence against Colin Campbell, an opportunity 
was allowed him to defend his actions on the 3rd November following, when he 
was represented by an advocate, who made the following defence : — 

"Reign of Queen Mary. 
"At Edinburgh, 3rd November 1564. 
" The quilk day, anent oure Soverane Ladiis lettres, purchest be James 
Menzeis of that Ilk, aganis Coline Campbell of Glenurquhy, for the wrangus 
incursioun of himself and of Rannald M'Rannald M'Couilglas of Keppach, and 
uthers in his name, in the He within the Loch of Rannoch, pertening heretabilie 
to the said James (Menzeis), and fortificatioun thairof, sen the Ouenis Majesteis 


inhibitioun maid in the contrair. And anent the charge gevin to the said Coline 
to haif comperit befoir hir Hienes and Lordis of hir Secreit Counsall at ane 
certane day begane, to heir him decernit to remove himself, the said Rannald 
M'Rannald, and all utheris his servindis and partakaris, furth of the said He in 
the said Lochrannoch. And to deliver the samyn to the said James (Menzeis), 
to be usit be him at his plesour, thairftir as his heretage, as at mair lenth is 
contenit in the saidis lettres. The said James Menzeis comperand personalie, 
and the said Coline comperand be Maister Johnne Scharp, his procuratour, quha 
proponit peremptourlie ane exceptioun, lerand that the said Coline Campbell 
aucht noucht to be decernit to have instrusit himself in the He callit the He of 
Rannoch, nor yit sauld be decernit to remove thairfra at the instance of the 
said James Menzeis, nor fra the landis of Rannoch, as is desyrit in the said 
summondis, for the ressonis and caussis contenit in the said exceptioun, as the 
samyn mair fullelie proportis. Ouhilk being fundin relivant be the Lordis of 
Secreit Counsall, thay have continewit the mater in the samyn forme, force, and 
effect, as it is now, but prejudice of party, unto the xxv day of November 
instant ; and thairfoir ordanis the said Coline (Campbell) to have letters to 
summond sic witnessis as he will use for preving of the said exceptioun agane 
the said day, undir the pane of rebellioun of thame to the home ; and to 
produce sic writtis, ressions, and dcumentis as he will use for preving of the 
exceptioun forsaid agane the said day. The partiis and thair procuratouris ar 
warnit heirimto apud acta. 

" The quhilk day, the said James Menzeis on the ane part, and the said 
Maister Johnne Scharp, procuratour for the said Coline, on that uther part, ar 
content and consentis that the Lordis of Secreit Counsall be jugeis to this mater, 
and submittis the samyn to thair jugement. 

" The quhilk day, in presence of the Lordis of Secreit Counsall, comperit 
James Menzeis of that Ilk, Johnne Stewart in Lome, Maister Johnne Abircrumby, 
Cuthbert Ramsay, Maister Johnne Spence in freir Wynd, burgessis of Edinburgh, 
and ane nobill and mychty lord, Johnne Erie of Atholl, Lord of Balvany, as 
souertie to releve thame ; and gaif in this obligatioun, subscrivit with thair handis, 
quhilk thai desyrit to be actit and registrat in the bukis of Secret Councall, to 
have the strenth of ane act and decreit of the Quenis Majestie and Lordis thairof. 
Ouhilk desyre the sadis Lordis thocht ressonabill, and thairfoir ordanis the samyn 
obligatioun to be actit and registrat in the sadis bukis of Counsall, to have the 
strenth of ane act and decreit of hir Majestie and Lordis foirsaidis ; and lettres 
and excutorallis to be direct thairupon gif neid be, in forme as efferis, of the 
quhilk obligatioun the tennour ; — Be it kend till all men be thir present lettres, 
us, James Menzeis of that Ilk, Johnne Stewart in Lome, Maister Johnne 
Abircumby, Cuthbert Ramsay, and Maister Johnne Spens in Freir Wynd, 

aoo THE "RED &• WHITE" BOOK OF MENZIES. [a.d. 1564-1565. 

burgessis of Edinburgh, to be bundin and obleist, and be the tennour heirof 
bindis and obleissis us, conjunctlie and severalie, a cautionaris for Donald Dow 
M'Conill M'Ewin, capitane of Clanchamroun, that he sail remane in fre ward 
within the burgh of Edinburgh, and on na wayis depart furth of the samyn, ay, 
and quhill the said Ewin find Johne Grant of Frewchy, or sic uther sufhcent 
souertie as oure Soverane Lady and Lordis of hir Secreit Counsall salbe content 
with all, that the said Donald sail entir and compeir befoir hir Hienes, at sic day 
and place as thai sail appoint, to ansuer, upoun sic thingis as salbe laid to his 
Charge, upon xxx dayis warning, owther to be maid to the said Donald or 
to his souertie, undir the pane of twa thousand merkis, according to the 
obligatioun maid thairupon, undir the samyn pane of twa thowsand merkis, to 
be payit to hir Majestie or hir Hienes Thesurare, in caise the said Donald 
eschaip or eschew befoir the finding of the said caution, and for releif of the 
saidis cautionaris, we, Johnne Erl of Atholl, bindis and obleissis us, oure airis 
and excutouris, and als for payment of quhatsumevir coistis, skayth, entres or 
dampnage thai or ony of thame sal happin to sustene throw the premissis ; and 
for the mair securite, we ar content and consentis that this oure obligatioun be 
actit and registrat in the bukis of Secreit Counsall, to haif the strenth of ane 
act and decreit of the Ouenis Majestie and Lordis thairof, and letters and 
executoriallis to be direct thairupon gif neid be, in forme as efferis, in witnes 
of the quilk thing we haif oure lettres obligatouris with oure handis, ad 
Edinburgh, the third day of November, the yeir of God j"V thre scoir and four 
yen's, befoir witnessis : Johnne Fentoun, Comptrollar Clerk, Williame Brysoun, 
Williame Foulis, Kepar of the Chekker Hous dur, and Menzeis of Cumry, with 
utheris diverse." 

This prompt action of Chief James the Menzies against Colin Campbell 
saved the Clan Gregor from destruction in north-west Perthshire. Had Campbell 
been permitted to go on in fortifying the Isle of Rannoch, the MacGregors would 
eventually have been exterminated ; but by the energy of the Menzies' they were 
saved, and the commission which Campbell had obtained against them was taken 
from him. The following is the record of his discharge : — 

" Henry and Mary. 

"Discharge of Glenurchy's Commission at Edinburgh, 26th August 1565. 

" The King and Quenis Majesteis, undirstanding that thair wes ane 
commissioun gevin be hir Hienes of befoir to Colene Campbell of Glenurquhy, 
gevand and committand to him full power to pas, serche, and seik all manner 
of personis, dwelland in quhatsumevir partis or places of this realme, quhilkis 
in any tyme sould happin to sesset ony rebellis and surname of Clangregour, 
or thair complices, or to furneis thame — oppinlie, quietlie, or be quhatsumevir 

a.d. 1564-1565.] THE "TRJIST FREIJVD" OF QUEEN MARY. 201 

uther cullour — meit, drink, claythis, armour, or "utheris necessaris ; and apprehend 
and tak thame and send thame to the Justice or his Deputtis to undirly the law 
thairfoir, as the said commissioun, of the dait at Edinburgh, the vii day of Januare, 
the yeir of God j'"v c lxiii yeris mair fullelie proportis. Ouhilk commissioun the 
said Colene hes nocht onlie allutrlie abusit, bot als under cullour thairof hes, be 
himself and utheris vvickit personis his complices in his name, of his causing 
command, assistance and ratihabitioun committit sensyne diverse and sundry 
sorningis, oppressionis, herschippis, spulyeis, yea, and crewell slauchteris, upoun 
diverse our saidis Soveranis liegis, nocht being rebellis ; and thairthrow the said 
commissioun is worthie to be dischargeit and annullit. Quhairfoir, oure saidis 
Soveranis, be thir presentis thairof, and decernis the samyn to expyre and haif 
na forder strenth in tymes cuming for the caussis foirsaidis ; and ordanis lettres 
to be direct heirupoun to mak publicatioun heirof in forme efferis, swa that nane 
of thair Graces' leigis pretend ignorance heirof." — Reg. Prv. Col. Scot., pp. 293, 4. 

After the recall of the commission of Colin Campbell, and the success of Chief 
James the Menzies of that Ilk over him, the condition of the Rannoch Highlands 
settled down to quiet once more. The Government, to make the country of the 
Menzies' safe with their tenants the MacGregors, compelled Colin Campbell of 
Glenurchy, to give "bandis and obligationis" for the peace of the Highlands, under 
a penalty. This bond was signed by Colin Campbell, 13th November 1564. We 
also find, by the following note regarding the annulling of Colin Campbell's 
commission, that it speaks strongly of the savage, unscrupulous nature of the man : — 
" Campbell of Glenurchy, having got a commission against the abbetors of the 
rebels, has used his power for oppressing, spoiling, and slaughtering the faithful 
leiges. The Commission Revoked. 24th Aug. 1564." — Reg. Prv. Col., p. 294, vol. i. 

The kindly feeling and friendship which had sprung up between Queen Mary 
and the Chief of Clan Menzies, during Her Majesty's various visits to Castle Menzies — 
where she, by her keen perception, saw in the chief a man whom she could trust, 
and one who would faithfully carry out her instructions in all matters — she, therefore, 
entrusted him with confidential messages to Queen Elizabeth, who, on application 
being made to her, granted a safe-conduct through England to the Court in favour 
of Chief James the Menzies, as ambassador or envoy special to Queen Mary. The 
record of this grant from the English State Papers reads thus : — 

"7th July 1565. Drury to Cecil. Has heard that the ambassador, John Hay, 
has made some stay in Yorkshire." " Elizabeth has given a safe-conduct to Jambes 
Meneyze to pass to the Court." — Foreign State Papers, 1 292, p. 406. 

It appears that the chief was obliged to stay some time at the Court of Queen 
Elizabeth, as during a great part of the reign of Queen Mary the embassies had 
many details to enter into, on account of the religious and political condition of the 
country. In any case, his mission seems to have been of a private and important 

202 THE "RED &• WHITE" BOOK OF MENZIES. [a.d. 1566. 

nature, and was discharged by him to the entire satisfaction of his Queen, as it is 
after this that she calls him her " Traist freind "■ — True Friend. 

Not long after the return of Chief James from the Court of Queen Elizabeth 
he received the following letter from Queen Mary in favour of his old tenants the 
Clan Gregor, who had been driven from his lands by Colin Campbell. Here is the 
letter : — 

Mary Queen of Scots to the Laird of Weym, relative to the Clan Gregor in 
Rannoch. Dated at Drymen in (Menteith), 31st August 1566. 
" Traist Freind, we greit yow weill. We vnderstand that diuerss personis 
of the Clangregour occupiit and inhabit your landis of the Rannoch, fra the quhilk 
thay wer eiectit the tyme of thair rebellioun. Now, as ye knaw, we have ressanit 
thame in our peax, and sen thai can not leif without sum rowmes and possesionis, 
we pray and effectuuslie desire you to permitt thaim to occupie and manure the 
same landis and stedingis quhilkis thai had and broukit of you of before, and mak 
thame ressonable takkis thairvpoun for payment of males and dewiteis, vsit and 
wont, as ye will do ws thankfull plesour. And further, quhair as ye may feir to be 
constrenit to ansuer for the saidis personis and thair doyngis, as duelland vpoun 
your land, be vertew of the generall band, we be thair presentis, exoneris, relevis, 
and dischargis yow of your said band in that behalf, sa fer as the samyn may extend 
towert ony personis of the said Clangregour or vtheris imputt in your landis be 
thame ; and will and grantis that ye sail na wis be callit, accusit, or in ony wys 
persewit thairfoir, nochtwithstanding the said generall band thairfoir, nochtwith- 
standing the said generall band or ony clause thairin conteni or vther lawis or 
ordinances quhatsumeuir, anent the quhilkis we dispens be thir presentis. Gevin 
vnder our signet and subscriuit our signet and subscriuit with our hand, at Drymmen, 
the last day of August 1566." 

" To our Traist Freynd (True Friend), the 
Laird of Weym. MARIE R." 

— Charter Room, Castle Menzies, No. 35. 
From this letter it is evident that Queen Mary took a kindly interest in her 
Highland subjects, and she seems to have talked the matter over with the chief as 
to the condition of the country and the MacGregors, with the causes of their 
rebellion and persecution by Glenurchy. Acting on his advice, she withdrew the 
Acts against them granted by James V., her father, and also relieved him from the 
responsibility of their conduct. The chief was willing to give them every chance, 
as he had got the power of the Campbells taken from Glenurchy. He thereby, 
although at much expense and the enmity of the Campbells, saved the MacGregors 
from extermination, and laid them under a great obligation to the Menzies. The 
MacGregors, therefore, went on well for about three years. 

The Campbells, always on the alert for something against the MacGregors, and 

a.d. 1569.] THE "TRA/ST FREIND" OF QUEEN MARY. 203 

an opportunity occurring, they proceeded to form a confederacy against them. They 
had a bond drawn out, in which they, without his knowledge, inserted the name of 
Chief James the Menzies of that Ilk, as one of the party ; but he, on learning its 
nature, refused to be a party or to sign his name to such a deed. We here give this 
bond of agreement, showing where they had inserted his name in the body of the 
bond ; but it stands to show that his name is not attached to it : — 

" At Ballocht, 6 May 1569. It is finalie endit between Johnne, Earle of Atholl, 
Lord Balvany for himself, and takeing the burden upon him for James Menzes of that 
Ilk, William Stewart of Grantullie, and the rest of his kin, friends, servants, defenderis, 
upon the one part ; and Colyne Campbell of Glenurquhay, for himself and takeing 
the burden upon him for Johne Campbell of Laweris, Duncan Campbell ofGlenlyoun, 
and the rest of his kin, friends, dependeris, upon the other part, in manner 
after following, both the said parties movit for the zele of God, and having 
respect to the tranquilitie and quietness of the inhabitants of this realme, and 
specially of their own bounds, and for suppressing and stanching of murtheraris, 
thevis, robaris, oppressors, sornaris revesaris of women, and raisaris of fire, and 
also for being commandit thereto be our Soverane Lords authoritie, conforme 
to the generall band made by our wmquhile Soverane Lord, King James Fyft, 
and approved now laitlie by our Soverane Lord and his hienes regent. Therefore 
to be bundin that they shall plain leill trew and afald part in presewing, 
invadeing, and suppressing of all such wicket and evil persons, and specially the 
CLANGREGOUR, which daily uses themselves most horribly in the foresaid crimes, 
intollerable to the leigis of thir bounds lying next to them, and that nether one 
of the said parties sail appoint with any of the said Clangregour in any time 
comeing by the advise of others, ay, and untill they be broucht under obediens 
to our Soverane Lord, or else banished the realme, or wrecked within the same ; 
and likewise the said James Menzes of that Ilk, William Stewart of Grantullie, 
Johne Campbell of Laweris, and Duncan Campbell of Glenlyoun ratifies this 
present contract in all things. In witness of the which thing by the said parties 
and persons above written has subscribed this Present Contract — 

Johne, Erll of Atholl. 

Collin Campbell of Glenwrquhay. 

W. Stewart off Grantullye. 

Jhone Campbell off Lawiris. 

Duncan Campbell of Glenlyoun." 

— Black Book of Taymouth, p. 213. 

Chief James the Menzies (from his action towards the confederacy of the 

Campbells and the Earl of Athole) would not form one of the plotting party against 

the MacGregors. The Earl of Athole and the Campbells (for political purposes on 

the other hand) dissembled their intentions towards him, and (owing to the 

20 4 THE "RED & WHITE" BOOK OF MENZIES. [a.d. 1569-1572. 

condition of the country) they found it necessary to keep up a show of friendship. 
A large meeting was arranged to meet on the Menzies estates, at an old hall of the 
Menzies' called Tometliogill or Ton-an-t-Sogail. This old castellic hall stood above 
the present large residential house called " Tirinie," near the ford of the river Lyon, 
not far from Castle Comerie, which is on the south bank of the river, Tometliogill 
being on the opposite and north side of the Lyon. This old hall has now 
disappeared, not a vestige of it remains ; there is no house even on its site to mark 
the spot. The projected meeting took place on the 2nd September 1570. We 
give the record of it, from the Chronicle of Fortingall : — 

" 1570, September 2d. The secund day of September the year forsaid, the 
Erll of Hummylton, the Aid Duke of Scotland, the Erll of Argyll, the Erll of 
Awtholl, the Bissop of Sanctandros, the Abbot of Kylmounyn, the Lord Secutor, 
the Lord Catnes, and many vderis lordis and men of gud conwenyt tegyddar, at the 
furd of Lyon, and ther they sat ane consal in the hall of Tomethogill ; I can nocht 
tell quhat vas concludyt ther." At this famous council " every man accused 
another," and there was great variance ; its political purpose was to hinder the 
Convention of States. — Calderwood' s History of the Kirk of Scotland, p. 13, vol. iii. 

It was in 1571 that the marriage escutcheon was put above the ancient 
entrance to Castle Menzies. On the right half of the shield is the Menzies arms, as 
the male ; on the left is the Stewart, as the female. The square is finished by a 
moulding round it, upon which is cut 1 571. The whole is beautifully carved, and 
as sharp to-day as when it was sculptured out of the stone. This date has been 
often mistaken as indicating the erection of the castle, but it only records the year 
when this memorial was inserted into the wall, to commemorate the marriage of 
Chief James the Menzies with the Hon. Barbara Stewart, eldest daughter of the 
Earl of Athole — their initials, J.M., B.S., entwined with cord representing love-knots, 
being also carved out of the stone. Over all is the Menzies motto, "VlL God I Zal." 
The iron-grated door is of great strength, having a strengthening bar going right 
across the door, with a socket cut in each lintel to receive its ends. The entrance 
is defended by two gunholes. At some distance to the left from the door is a round 
aperture (which is shown on the illustration), cut through the wall to the interior. 
This was used as a kind of punishment " branks " ; the arm of a culprit was put 
through it and secured by a bracket and chain in the inside, leaving him standing 
outside in the weather. Above each of the loop-holes on the ground floor are 
windows defended by strong iron grilles, constructed on the same principle as the 

In 1572 reference is made to Castle Menzies in a grant of the life-rent of the 
lands of Weem, made by the chief to Lady Menzies, in which it appears a portion 
was to be reserved for the restoration of part of the old castle, still unrepaired. 
The following is a translation of this grant : — 


"James VI., at Leith, 24th July 1572. The king confirms a grant by James 
Meingeis of Menzies, who concedes to Barbara Stewart, his spouse, during her life, 
the rents of the lands and houses and manis of Weme, with castle, fortalice, and 
lands of the same, by which to renew altogether the old castle, edifice, gardens, 
parks, and fruit-trees of the barony of Meingeis, shire of Perth, reserving said James 
one-tenth part and possession, witnesses — Thomas Lyndesay of Logeis, John 
Mengeis, rector of Weme, John Banerman, junr., D. Duncanson, notaro. At 
Menzies, 27th September 1571. Superior said lands, &c, whatsomever." — Register 
of Great Seal, 2082. 

Scotland being much divided and torn by religious troubles during the 
minority of James VI., the nobles formed themselves into parties, with frequent 
consultations, such as took place at the Menzies Hall of Tomethogill. The Earl of 
Athole, Argyle, and others represented the extreme Protestant party. The Earl of 
Huntly, the Menzies' of Aberdeenshire, and others still adhered to the Romish 
Church; and as Huntly was related to "The Menzies," he looked to him for 
support. Having to meet the Earl of Athole at Dunkeld, Huntly thus writes 
to the Chief James Menzies as follows : — 

"The Earl of Huntly to his treist cusing 'James Menzeis off that Ilk.' 
Huntlie, 19th October 1572. The Earl intimates his intention to meet the Earl of 
Athole on the 1st or 2nd of the next month, either at Dunkeld or Blair, ' and giff 
it be in Dunkell, I treist my L. Atholl will be circumspect, be resone off mony 
falsattis and desnitis now visit in this varild.' He may visit James Menzeis at his 
' awin ' house, and ' omitt langer ' letter till then." In a postscript, he adds — " This 
same tyme ther beis ane contentioun in Perth betwix sum off owrs and off the 
vther perties, as I am assurit ye haiff hard." — Charter Room, Castle Menzies, 
No. 83. 

This letter gives us some idea of the condition in which Scotland was placed, 
politically and religiously ; and from the tone of the letter, the Chief James Menzies 
seems to have a leaning to the side of Huntly. But not only was the chief sought 
for advice on political matters, but was looked to as a friend in matrimonial affairs, 
&c, as the following letter will show : — 

" R. Creightoun of Clunie, to James Meingeis, the laird of Weem. That as the 
writer (for the upbringing of his daughters) has contracte a marrage with a daughter 
of Burnbugalls, on 9th November next, he wishes the laird of Weem to provide for 
him some wild fowls and aquavite, and to send the same to Burnbugal, to the care 
of the lady thereof, and he will requite him of a greater matter. Dated at Clunie, 
the 1 2th October 1572. He has to prepare himself for his marriage, and as he gets 
no great tocher, he will not hurt his bairns in giving of any great dowry, and 
wishing one yoke of drawing oxen to his ploughs, &c. He doubts not Weem 
salbe contentit of the woman that I haif chosen to be my wiyf, for sche hes mony 

206 THE "RED &> WHITE" BOOK OF MENZIES. [a.d. 1573. 

gud qualities in wewing, schewing, and vther handie craftis, quherin sche 
may be helplie to our dochteris and myne." — Charter Room, Castle Menzies, 
No. 93. 

This letter of Chrichton's is invaluable as giving us some idea of the home 
life and qualities of a wife of the 16th century, and also of the good feeling 
existing between Highland chiefs and lairds at this period. 

The Menzies' of that Ilk have always been famous for the rearing of all 
kinds of cattle, and also for the herds of deer on their estates. They likewise 
possessed till lately a fine old breed of stag or deer-hounds. The fame of these 
dogs had extended to Sweden and other parts of the world even in the 16th 
century, owing to which the Chief James the Menzies had a request sent him 
by the " Lewetennant " of the King of Sweden for a leich of stag-hounds for His 
Majesty. This letter is in the Charter Room of Castle Menzies, and is as 
follows : — 

"Sir Archibald Ruthven of Forteviot, Knychte, Lewetennant vnto the King's 
M[aiestie] of Suadin, to James Mingeis, the laird of Weem. Edinburgh, 1 July 
1 573- He intends to embark about the 8th instant, and desires Menzeis to 
obtain for him a leish of good deer-hounds as a present to the King of 
Sweden."— No. 84. 

This breed of deer-hounds seems to have been carried on by the Cadet 
branch, the Menzies' of Chesthill, and are now known by the name of the 
" Menzies' of Chesthill breed," and are reckoned the highest class of stag-hounds 
by the " Deer-Hound Club." 

Sir Alexander having neglected to procure from the Crown a renewal of his 
charters on his succeeding to the estates of his father, Sir Robert, for the lands of 
Loch Tay and the surrounding country, the usual form being to get a retour, or be 
served heir immediately on the death of a predecessor, this being an acknowledg- 
ment of the Crown by charter under the Great Seal of the King. Sir Alexander 
apparently neglected to do this, and no question was raised in his time nor that of 
his son, until 1574, when by some unknown means, Colin Campbell of Glenurchy 
discovered that the Menzies' had by " reason of nonentres " since the death 
of the late Chief, Sir Robert, the grandfather of this James. He, therefore, thought 
this a fitting opportunity of raising a question of the right of this Menzies to 
these lands. He set to work to get the favour of the then powerful Regent 
Morton to his scheme, and in this he succeeded, as the Regent, himself avaricious, 
wanted his hands strengthened, no matter how ; and such an unscrupulous character 
as Colin Campbell the Regent might use for his own ends by granting these 
lands to him, and weaken the hands of his enemy, Chief Menzies, who was for 
the young king. On Campbell making his representations apparently in the usual 
form, he thereby got a disposition of the whole lands of " Conry, Roro, Morinche 

a.d. 1574-1575.] THE "TRAIST FREIND" OF QUEEN MARY. 207 

Eistir, Morinche Middle, Morinche Wester, Drumcrosk, Candknock, and Achmoir." 
This, however, was subject to reversal. Here is the disposition :- — 

"James VI. — Morton, Regent, 1574-5. 

" Menzies Barony, late Robert Menzies of that Ilk, non-entry of certain lands 
possed by him, granted to Campbell of Glenurchy. 

" Be it kend till all men be thair present letters, me, Colyne Campbell of 
Glenurquhy, that for samekill as our Soverane Lord, with avise and consend 
of his rycht traist cousing, Mortoun, Lord of Dalkeith, Regent to his Majestie, his 
realme and liegis, hes gevin and disponit to me, my airis and assignayis, the 
nonentres, males, fermis, proffeitis, and dewiteis of all and haill the of Corny, 
Roro, Morinche Eistir, Morinche Middill, and Morinche Westir, Duncrosk, 
Candknock, and Achmoir, with all cottages, outseittis, partis, pendicles, and 
pertinentis thairof, Hand in the barony of Mengeis, within the sherefdome of Perth, 
of all yeris or termis bigane that the same hes bene in his hienes or his 
predecessouris hands as superiouris thairof be ressoun of nonentres, sen the deceis 
of umquhile Robert Mengeis of that Ilk, or ony uther last lauchfull possessour 
thairof, immediat tenent to oure Soverane Lord or his predecessouris of the samyn ; 
and siclyke of all yeris and termis to cum, ay, and quhill the lauchfull entre the 
richtuous air or airs thairto being of lauchfull aige, with the releif quhen it sal 
happin, as the letters of gift under the Prevy Seill maid to me thairupoun at mair 
lenth beirs, of the dait at Dalkeith, the seveint day of Januare, the yeir of God 
j m v c lxxiiii yeris. Nevirtheles to be bundin and obleist, and be the tennour heirof 
bindis and obleissis me, my airis and assignayis, to oure Soverane Lord and 
his Regent, that we sail na wayis use the said gift of nonentres, bot be avise and 
contentment of his hienes and his Regent ; and in caise we do in the contrair, 
grantis and consentis that the said gift salbe of nane avale, force or effect, with all 
that may follow thairupon, in witnes of the quhilk thing I have subscrivit this 
obligatioun with my hand, at Edinburgh, the aucht day of Januare, the yeir of God 
j m v l: lxxiiii yeris, befoir thir witnessis — David Craufurd of Blackcraig, Gawin 
Hammiltoun, and Johnne Andro, with utheris diverse. Sic subscribitur : Colin 
Campbell of Glenurquhy." — Reg. Pr. Col. Scot, pp. 426, 7, vol. ii. 

" Colin Campbell of Glenurchy, having been invested by grant from the 
Crown in the feudal due and casualties of certain domains in the barony of 
Menzies within the sheriffdom of Perth ; obligation that he shall not use the 
gift of the casualty of non-entries, otherwise than by the advice of the Sovereign 
and the Regent." 

Colin Campbell, by taking advantage of the divided state of the country 
and through the power of Morton, his friend, had got the foregoing entry to 

208 THE "RED & WHITE" BOOK OF MENZIES. [a.d. 1575-1576. 

those lands. Yet, as the possession was got by dishonest means, it was subject to 
be overturned at any time. Chief James Menzies of Menzies was not allowed 
to defend his rights, nor ever had any notice of the claim ; and he was also the 
man in possession, and hereditary heir of the lands. 

The chief seems to have taken considerable pride in the Auld Kirk o' Weem. 
Among the papers in the Charter Room of Castle Menzies is a receipt for £5, 
paid for a bible by the chief. It reads thus : — 

" Receipt and discharge by William Craigy for five pounds to buy a bible for 
the Kirk o' Weem, 27 June 1575. 

" I, William Craigy, redar at the kirk at Weyme, granttis me to haif resantt fra 
the handis of ane honorabill man, James Menzeis of that Ilk, the sowme of fyive 
pundis money to by ane bible to the kirk of Weyme, eftir the tenour off our 
soverane lordis letteris derect thairupone ; of the quhilk sowme of fyive pundis, I, 
the said William Craigy, healdis me veill content and payit, quitclames and 
dischargis the said James Menzeis thairof, and all utheris to whom it efferris, for 
now and ever, be this my aquittance. Subscriutt with my hand, at Weyme, the 
xxvii day of Junii, the yeir of God j"V thre scoir fyften yers, befoir thir witnes — 
Johne Menzeis, Persone of Weyme, Johne Lindsay, and Robert M'Nair, 
with vtheris sindry. Villiam Cragy, with my hand." 

The bonds which the Menzies' had were not many, but here is a note of one 
from Charter Room of Castle Menzies : — 

" 180. Bond by John M'Ewnedoy to James Menzeis of that Ilk, to serve him 
and none others, the king and the Earl of Argyll excepted. Menzeis, 12 November 
1575." — No. 205. 

As indicated by the bond of 1569, the Earl of Athole and the Campbells 
had formed a confederacy to reduce the MacGregors and the Chief James 
Menzies. The Earl of Athole had got a commission of justiciary for his 
lifetime over the whole of the lands in Athole and others, of which were the 
lands of Weme, Rannoch, &c. His justiciary the chief refused to acknowledge, 
but preferred that of Argyle, the result being that the Earl's followers and 
Clan Menzies were at constant feud, as also were Athole and Argyle. In this 
state of affairs some stealing had been committed ; the Regent Morton, therefore, 
wrote as follows to the Chief of the Menzies' : — 

"James, Earl of Morton, Regent of Scotland, to James Menzeis of that Ilk, 

Edinburgh, 28 January 1576. 

" Rich traist freind, efter our hertlie commendationes : We and the Previe 
Counsale, having taken travell at this tyme to vnderstand the occasiones of the 
contrauersiis betuix my lordis of Ergile and Atholl, and to put order therevnto 


for the Kingis Maiesties obedience and quietnes of the cuntrie, haue seene amang 
other thingis, quhat charge the noblemen quhilkis travellit in the mater of before 
thoucht neitt to burdyn yow and your nychbour the baron of Faudowy withall. 
And we now, having the like confidence in your vprichtnes and ernest desyre 
to have thair things put to poynt, and that ye will willinglie accept on yow 
panis and travellis to further the same, will therefoir desyre and pray yow 
effectuuslie that ye, with the baron of Faudowy, will accept on yow the cognition 
and jugement how mony ky and horss quhat of avale of insycht wer taken fra 
Johnne Campbell and his tenentis, as alsua quhat quantitie of siluer wes takin 
fra Erll of Athollis men, and how many of the ky and hors past quik ower Lay 
at the furd of Lyoun ; and that ye declane and estimat the valu betuix the 
deid and the quik ky that wes taken away, and of thame that sail now be 
deliuerit ; and that ye (of siluer to be put in your hands wes tane fra the Erll 
of Athollis men, as said is) deliuer samekle to the said Johnne Campbell as the 
valew betuix the quik and the deid ky, or the insycht of the houss, or the ky 
or horss beis fundin, wer mor quhen thay wer taken extends to, at the sicht 
of yow and the baroun of Faudowy ; and that ye your self deliuer the remanent 
or superlus of the said siluer to the Erll of Atholl, or to quhome he shall 
nominat and direct to ressaue the same the said day ; and that ye gif warning 
to my lord of Atholl betuix the xx day of Februare nixtocum quhat nowmer 
of ky and horss he sail caus send to be deliuerit to the said Johnne Campbell 
the said xv day of Marche. 

" In cais the ky that salbe now brocht to the furde of Lyoun to be deliuerit 
be found be yow young and sufficient ky, thay salbe ressauit be Johnne Campbell 
or his seruandis, altho thay be not sa fatt as in the tyme that thay wer taken 
away, and that thair salbe nathing allowit because they are not now sa 
gude, etc. (Signed) James, Regent." 

— Charter Room, Castle Menzies, No. 85. 

Immediately after this letter the Chief James the Menzies brought his 
objections against the Earl of Athole before the Lords of Privy Council, asking 
to be exempted from him as Justice-General. The record is as follows : — 

"James VI. — Morton, Regent. 

"James Menzies claims exemption from the jurisdiction of the Earl of Athole, 
and re deadly feud between their forbears. 3rd April 1576. 

" Anent oure Soverane Lordis letters raisit at the instance of James Menzeis 
of that Ilk, makand mentioun — That quhair albeit the Erllis of Atholl a certane 
space bigane, hes had commissionis of Justiciarie and Lieutenendrie within the 
boundis of Atholl and partis ajacent thairto ; nevirtheles, he and his foirbearis, 
baronis of the barony of Menzeis, thair boundis, landis, rowmes and possessions, 

210 THE "RED & WHITE" BOOK OF MENZIES. [a.d. 1576. 

hes bene in all tymes begane be oure Soverane Lordis maist nobill progenitouris 
and governouris of the realme of gude memory for the tyme, exemit frome the 
saidis Erllis of Atholl, thair deputtis, jurisdictioun and jugement ; in justice airis 
and uthenvayis criminlie to answer befoir our Justice-Generall and his deputtis, 
and in civile actionis befoir the Lordis of the Sessioun and the Sheref of Perth 
and his deputtis, within quhais boundis the said James Menzeis landis and 
rowmes for the maist part lyis. And althocht be his allya with the hous of 
Atholl the deidlie feid of befoir standing betuix thair foirbearis — quhairupoun 
the saidis exemptionis were grantit — wes reconcilit, yit wes it then condiscendit 
be Johnne, now Erll of Atholl, contractar that nane of thame sould procure or 
tak utheris rowmes, fredomis or libereteis, bot ayther of thame to enjoy the same 
with als greit libertie as thay did of befoir ; and thair by the said Erll willit and 
declarit the saidis formar exemptionis to stand in effect, as may weill than appeir 
to have bene the verie meaning of baith the partiis ; nevirtheles, the said Johnne, 
Erll of Atholl, be himself, his duputtis and servandis in his name, callis, troublis, 
presewis, takkis and impresonis the said James Menzeis tenentis and servandis, 
intending partiallie under cullour of justice to put thame to deith, and to introment 
with thair gudis on pretens of escheit, to the havy hurt of the said James 
(Menzeis), without haistie remeid be providit. And anent the charge given to 
the said Erll of Atholl, to have comperit befoir my Lord Regentis Grace and 
Lordis of Secreit Counsall at ane certane day bipast, bringand with him his 
Commissioun — quhairby he clamit to have power of Justiciarie ower the said 
James Menzeis, his saidis tenentis and servandis, to have bene sene and considerit ; 
and to have hard and sene the said James (Menzeis), his kin, freindis, tenentis, 
servandis and inhabitantis — of his landis and barony of Menzeis foirsaid, with 
the townis, pendicles, annexis and pertinentis thairof; the landis of Apndull, 
the landis of Cambusarnay, Pelleiray, Tillidowill, Polfawliche, Mewane, Delmany 
and Tullecroy, and landis of Rannoch, laind within the lordship of Appin and 
sherefdome of Perth, exemit be decreit of the said Lord Regent and Prevy 
Counsale fra the said Johnne, now Erll of Atholl, his collegis quhatsumevir, 
justices or lieutenentis within the boundis of Atholl and partis adjacent thairto, 
thair deputtis, officiaris, offices and jurisdictioun of justiciarie and lieutenendrie, 
or utheris thair prevelegis and liberteis quhatsumevir ; and fra all compering 
and answering befoir thame or ony of thame in quhatsumevir justice airis actionis 
and caussis criminall and civile, courtis of justiciarie or lieutenendrie, or utheris 
quhatsumevir in all tyme cuming, exemand and dischargeand or utheris 
quhatsumevir in all tyme cuming, exemand and dischargeand thame thairfra 
for evir ; and dischargeand the said Erll and his collegis, justices and lieutenentis 
in that part within the boundis foirsaidis, thair deputtis and officiaris of all calling, 
persewing, unlawing, troubling or proceeding aganis the said James (Menzeis), 

a.d. 1576-1577.] THE "TRAIST FREIND" OF QUEEN MARY. 211 

his kin, freindis, tenentis, servandis, and inhabitantis of his propir landis, rowmes, 
and possessionis foirsaidis, for non-answering and obeying of thame in thair 
saidis jurisdictionis of Justiciarie or Lieutendrie, or ony thingis concerning the 
samyn, and of thair offices in that part for evir for the caussis foirsaidis, lyke 
as at mair lenth is contenit in the saidis letters, executioun and indorsatioun 
thairof. Quhilkis being callit, the said James Menzeis comperand personalie, with 
Maisteris David Makgill and Henry Kinross, his prelocutouris ; and the said 
Johnne, Errll of Atholl, comperand be Maisteris Johnne Scharp, Alexander Sym, 
and Alexander Skene, his procuratouris ; it wes allegeit in the name of the said 
Erll the said actioun was altogidder civile ; and in respect of the Act of Parliament 
maid be King James the Fift anent the institutioun of the College of Justice, 
be the quhilk all civile materis is remittit to the Lordis of Counsall and 
Sessioun ; that thairfoir my Lord Regentis Grace and Lordis of Secreit Counsall 
can not be jugeis competent to decyde in the said caus ; quhairunto it wes 
objectit and answerit be the saidis persewaris and Maister David Borthuik, 
advocat to oure Soverane Lord in his Majesteis name, that in Act of Parliament 
maid be King James the Third it is declarit that it sould be lesum to his 
Majestie or his successouris to decyde in quhatsumevir caussis at thair pleasure, 
nochtuithstanding ony privilege grantit to ony uther jugeis, and that the last 
Act on na wayis annillis nor dirogattis the formar Act ; that thairfoir my Lord 
Regentis Grace and Prevy Counsale ar jugeis competent and auch to proceid 
in said caus. Quhilkis allegeance and answer, with diverse utheris the ressonis 
and allegations of bayth the saidis partiis, being hard and considerit be my 
Lord Regentis Grace and Lordis of Secreit Counsall : and thay replie avisit 
thairwith, my Lord Regentis Grace, with avise of the saidis Lordis, findis thay 
ar jugeis competent to the said caus, notwithstanding the said allegenace." — 
Reg. Prv. Col., pp. 515-7. 

The confederacy formed by the Earl of Athole, Campbell of Glenurchy, 
and others, still continued their oppressions. Owing to the powers vested in 
Athole by the Regent Morton — he seems to have been in sympathy with Athole 
in his attempt to have jurisdiction over the lands of the Menzies' — and between 
Athole on the one hand, the Campbells on the other, and the chief not being 
a robust man, he had to suffer much. In this condition of things he wrote to 
the Regent Morton, but from his answer it can be seen that he was also in the 
plot to deprive him of his ancient rights. The answer runs thus : — 

"James, Earl of Morton, Regent of Scotland, to James Menzies of that Ilk, 

Dalkeith, 5 January 1577. 

" Acknowledges receipt of a letter from the Laird of Weem, ' shawing that 

ye are evill handillit betuix the Campbelles and the Erll of Athole diuers wyse, 

P 2 

212 THE "RED & WHITE" BOOK OF MENZIES. [a.d. 1577-1578. 

and that now ye are maid to understand that the erll of Athole is content 
that freindis sicht the maters questionable betwix him and yow, and not to seik 
the circumstance of the law.' Advises him to accept such a settlement. Favours 
his intention to ' mak warnigis ' on the Clan Gregor for their removal from his 
lands, as he receives from them neither ' profit nor obedience ' ; states that the 
Regent had given order for the acceptance of Menzies' composition for the raid 
made at Dumfries." — Charter Room, Castle Menzies, No. 86." 

In the summer of 1577, notwithstanding these feuds, "The Honourable," as 
the chief was surnamed, succeeded in making considerable alterations on Castle 
Menzies. Before this time it is thought to have had a flat parapet running round 
the top of its walls, connecting its flanking turrets, from which its bronze guns 
could be fired, and missiles hurled upon an enemy. These alterations consisted 
in constructing the present attic windows, pitching the roof higher, and covering 
the turrets with their conical tops. The dormer windows are beautifully designed, 
and ornamented with sculpture of a very unique character. On the cap of the 
second from the east turret is sculptured out of the stone under its apex, a hand 
pointing downwards to the inscription, which is : — 

1 577 
J. M. B. S. 

IN . OW . RTY . ME 

These alterations were considered of so much importance at the time, that 
they were recorded in the Chronicle of Fortingall, which describes them thus : — 

" 1577. Item. — That symmyr the Castle of Weym was byggyth and ended." 

Such was the state into which the chief's health had fallen, that in 1578 he 
had to petition for liberty to eat flesh meat. He received this licence, notwith- 
standing the Acts of Parliament against eating butcher meat, owing to the famine 
in Scotland. This licence reads : — 

" License by King James the Sixth, subscribed by the King, the Earl of 
Mortoun, Lord Ruthven, and others, to James Menzes of the Weym, ' being subject 
to seikness and dyuerss diseasis of body,' and to his spouse, to eat flesh from the 
8th March to the 19th April of that year, notwithstanding Acts of Parliament or 
Proclamations against it. Dated at Stirling Castle, March 1578." — Charter Room, 
Castle Menzies, No. 36. 

The Campbells, taking advantage of the chief's illness, made many inroads 
into the lands of Menzies'. These attacks seem to have all been directed by Colin 
Campbell himself. 

Notwithstanding the disturbed state of the Highlands and Scotland generally, 

a.d. 1578-1579.] THE "TRAIST FREIND" OF QUEEN MARY. 213 

there are pleasant glimpses into the domestic affairs of the family of the chief — 
thus we have a letter regarding an intended visit to Lady Weem, quaintly making 
reference to the Highland dress, as follows : — 

"'Marie, Countas of Atholl,' to her 'laifing sister' the Lady Weem, Cupper 
[Cupar], xiiii November 1578." The writer was Lady Mary Ruthven, second 
daughter of William, Earl of Gowrie. The second daughter of this Countess of 
Athole, Lady Mary Stewart, married James, Earl of Athole, who was the stepson 
of her own mother. " Desires Lady Weem to come over to Cupar to show her the 
fashion of the country where she is to 'gang' to, as there was none there 'weil 
aquentit with it.' " — Charter Room, Castle Menzies, No. 87. 

Another action of the chief of the Menzies', which showed him to be a man 
ready to help a friend in time of need, was his becoming caution in a £1000 for 
Jarden of Apilgirth. As recorded, it reads : — 

" 1579. Caution in ,£1000 by James Menzies of that Ilk, for Alexander Jarden 
of Apilgirth, that he will remain in Edinburgh, ' ay and quhill he be fred be the 
Kingis Majestic'" — Reg. Prv. Col., p. 231, vol. xxxi. 

These little bits of information, appearing through these dark and troublous 
times, show the friendly and generous spirit which the chief had ; and as seen by 
other instances in his life, he wished to be on friendly terms with all around him. 
Indeed, his desire to help and befriend the MacGregors especially, cost him 
much trouble and expense. 

James Menzies the Chief, from his position in the Highlands, had considerable 
correspondence with other parts of Scotland regarding current events of national 
interest. Here is a letter from another Highland chief to him, giving him the 
latest news : — ■ 

" Alexander Maknachtan of Dundaraw on Loch Fyne, Argyllshire, to his 
'speciall freind' James Mingeis, the Laird of Weem, 1579." Chiefly with reference 
to the state of the isles, the men of which, he says, " are agreit." " The Kings 
grace hes send to my lord Ergile ane wryttin that come to his Magistie from the 
Duik of Obeine [Aubigny] out of France, menand that the said Duik wes on the seie 
cumane to Scotland. It is reportit that he desyris to be Earl of Lennox, becaus 
that he is nerrest lynale dissendit." — Charter Room, Castle Menzies, No. 88. 

Another of these letters is from Lord Ruthven to the chief, in reference to 
a settlement of the Border difficulties of the time and other national matters. 
It is as follows : — 

"William, fourth Lord Ruthven, created in 1581 Earl of Gowerie, 'to 
his weilbelowitt gossop' James Meingeis, 'the Laird of Weym.' Holyroodhous, 
14th December 1 S79-" Chiefly concerning a proposed marriage, to which the 
king has given his consent, and that it shall be in Perth. The writer says : 
" The Counsall hes bene occupeit all this tyme bygane vpoun the bordour effars, 

214 THE "RED cV WHITE" BOOK OF MENZIES. [a.d. 1579-1580. 

quhilk hes bene the occasioun of langer tayrie here." This Lord Ruthven was 
the eldest surviving son and successor of Patrick, the third lord, who took such 
a prominent part in the murder of Rizzio. William, Lord Ruthven, was created 
Earl of Gowrie, and he was the hero of the famous conspiracy at Perth which 
bears his name. — Charter Room, Castle Menzies, Nos. 88, 89. 

The actions of the Campbells having become worse and worse as time went 
on, the Chief James the Menzies was again compelled to take action against Colin 
Campbell of Glenurchy. About 1576 Campbell sent his son with about 40 men, 
under cover of dark, on to the Menzies' lands of " Kinaldie," and stole from 
there 24 head of cattle, with a number of sheep and goats. Colin also laid 
hold of a defenceless tenant of the Menzies' in Morenish, and imprisoned him 
until he found caution to pay ,£40. Some of the messengers sent to deliver 
a summons of the king upon Glenurchy were received with great fury — he 
went on shouting and boasting, and, having had their arms snatched from them 
by his men, then menaced them with death. Another act of Glenurchy's was 
to offer money and land to a John Stewart to go on to the lands of the Menzies' 
and kill some of the cattle, but this he manfully declined. Campbell seems to 
have taxed his crafty brain to find cowardly ways and means to injure the 
Menzies'. He also got some servants of Stewart of Grantully to steal 4 horses 
from the poor crofters at " Tullichdoule," and these Glenurchy resetted and put 
in his own stable. Not content with this mean theft, he got three different 
bands of men to go to three places on the Menzies' estates, under cover of 
night, and there killed over 20 head of cattle. But worse still, a defenceless 
tailor from the Menzies' having fallen into his clutches, he imprisoned him for 
several days. When the chief heard of this he despatched a message to the 
king, asking him to order Glenurchy to release him. On the arrival of the 
king's message, Glenurchy had him secretly hanged. The chief, therefore, made 
application to the Crown for redress and " compensation for the iniquitous " 

The following is the petition narrating the facts lodged by Chief James 
the Menzies against Campbell of Glenurchy : — 

" The iniures (injurious) oppressionis and wrangis committit be (on) the larde 
of Weme and his tenentis, of the quhilkis the Larde of Weme humelie complenis 
to the Kingis Maiestie and Counsale." [Circa, 1580.] There are seven distinct 
charges : — 1. That, four years previous to the date of this memorial, Glenurchy 
had sent his son, Colin Campbell, with 40 men to Menzies' lands of Kinaldie, 
and that they had stolen 24 " heid of nolt," with a number of sheep and goats. 
2. That Glenurchy had seized and imprisoned a tenant of Menzies' in Morinche, 
and refused to release him till he had found caution to pay £40 to Glenurchy, 
who for this sum caused the " pure mans four pleuch hors " to be taken from 

a.d. 1578-1580.] THE "TRAIST FREIND" OF QUEEN MARY. 215 

him. 3. That when Menzies, in January 1578, sent some of his men to execute 
the king's letters at Balloch, Glenurchy wrested their weapons from them, and 
"bostit and schorit" to have slain them. 4. That Glenurchy having had sent 
to him John Stewart, natural son to John Stewart of Appin, his servant in Lome, 
to be his servant, had offered him land and money to pass to the laird of Weme's 
bounds, "quhair the guidis caitlie was slane, and to slaa the same," which he 
refused. 5. That he had caused some of Stewart's men to make away 
four horses from the poor tenants in Tullichdoule, and had put them in 
Glenurchy's stable. 6. That, on the 20th July preceding the date of this 
memorial, Glenurchy had sent men to three different parts of Menzies' lands, 
Glengowlandie, Tometewgle, and Tullichdowle, and that they there " bee manifest 
oppressioun, slew to the number of twentie heid of nolt," &c, taking others away. 
7. That, on the 22nd July, Glenurchy had taken a Menzies man, " ane tailyeour, 
ane commoun man, readie to wirk to evirrie person for his leving, he passed throw 
the countrie to seek his craft," and had imprisoned him for seven days in Balloch ; 
and when Menzies had obtained letters from the king and Council charging 
Glenurchy to find caution to set the tailor at liberty, " efter the geving of the 
charge, the said Lairde Glenurchy, in contempt of the Kingis Maiesties authority, 
maist cruellie hangit the pure man quietlie, being the Kings Maiesteis lege and 
trew craftisman." — Charter Room, Castle Menzies, No. 207. 

The outrages set forth in this accusation afford an idea of the lawless state 
of the Highlands during the minority of James VI. It is evident that owing to 
the kindness of Chief James the Menzies, surnamed " The Honourable," for his 
actions to the Clan Gregor, they scorned to do the shady work of Colin Campbell, 
who was now in the position of a common robber and resetter. If there had been 
any means of justly enforcing the law, he would have been punished for such 
deeds, but the law was administered by one of his own party, the Regent Morton, 
who afterwards expiated his offences against the nation on the scaffold. 

Just before the cause came on for hearing between Glenurchy and Chief 
James Menzies, the latter received the following letter : — 

" King James the Sixth to the Earl of Athole, Holyrood House, 2 January 
1580 — Narrates that the day appointed for the 'taking up of the debate and 
controversy,' between the lairds of Glenurchy and Weem was near, and the Earl 
of Argyll, whose ' presence to the handling of sic wechtie materis as laitlie hes 
occurrit in counsall could not convenientlie be sparit to that meting,' would remain 
at the diet in Edinburgh. The king earnestly desires the Earl of Athole to 
persuade the two sides to fix on another day, not in January, when the arbitrators 
on both sides could conveniently assemble." Subscribed by the king. — Charter 
Room, Castle Menzies, No. 37. 

This delayed still further the hand of justice, if such could be had in those 

2i6 THE "RED & WHITE" BOOK OF MENZIES. [a.d. 1580. 

days. Colin Campbell, seeing that he was on the verge of trouble with the 
Government, fell upon another plan whereby to annoy and injure Chief James 
the Menzies. His plan was to draw some of the Menzies tenants into his plot, 
which was not to take their lands or farms from the chief of the Menzies' until he 
came to terms with Glenurchy. This plot, however, brings out one fact, namely, 
that although Campbell had obtained from the Regent Morton, in 1574-5, a grant 
of the Menzies lands of Kayndnok or Cudnock, and others on Loch Tay side, on the 
plea of non-entry of heirs, yet his grant had been overturned on the true heir 
Chief James Menzies reporting himself to the Keeper of the Great Seal. Colin 
Campbell's envious, grasping scheme having failed, his next plan was to harass 
" The Honourable " James through his own tenants, on the lands which he 
and his fathers had set their greedy eyes upon for over a hundred years. 
Campbell was successful in bringing only two of these tenants over to his plot. 
These were two brothers named " Makewin " — the one held as kindly tenant the 
Menzies lands of " Kayndnok," and the other, those of Edramucky, on the north 
side of Loch Tay. These men Colin Campbell so terrified by his threats and offers 
of bribes that he got them to sign a bond of arrangement. 

The undernoted bond clearly shows by what nefarious and unscrupulous 
means Glenurchy sought to tear from the Chief of the Menzies' concessions 
through his tenants. Here is the bond : — 

" Mutual bond between Coleine Campbell of Glenurquhay and Duncane 
Campbell fiar (heir) thereof, his son, on the one part, and Johne Makewin in 
Ediramuikie, and James Makewin in Kayndknok, his brother, on the other part, 
whereby the said Coleine and Duncane Campbell, understanding the said Johne 
and James to be kindly tennants of the said lands with the pertinents, bind 
themselves noways by themselves or others to take the said lands, or any part 
thereof, over the heads of the said Johne and James, but to maintain them in the 
possession thereof, and in all their just and honest causes ; and further bind 
themselves at no time thereafter to agree with James Meingeis of that Ilk anent 
any of their own actions, without reservation of the said John and James' 
possession of the said lands of Eddieramnkie and Kaindknok, for payment of the 
usual mails therefor, such as were paid by their father ; and the said Coleine 
receives the said Johne and James in service, promising to them horses and man's 
meat as they shall happen to be charged by him with service, together with 
the sum of ten pounds money yearly fee to either of them, provideing, that when 
by the advise of the said Coleine and Duncane they obtain the said lands, the 
yearly fee shall be discharged, and the promise thereof shall cease, the said 
Johne and James being still bound to serve the said Coleine and Duncane ; 
and, on the other hand, the said Johne and James bind themselves to perform 
the true service to the said Coleine and Duncane and their heirs on their expenses 

a. d. 1580.] THE " TRAIST FREIND " OF Q UEEN MAR Y. 217 

both in the Highlands and Lowlands, and especially in housting and hunting, as 
they shall be required ; and also bind themselves and their heirs, never to take 
or crave the said lands from the said James Meinzeis of that Ilk without the 
speciall consent of the said Coleine and Duncane and their heirs ; and the 
said Johne and James to possess the teinds of the said lands so long as they 
perform the true service above written. Gregour Makeane, constable of 
Glenurquhay, Alane Baxter, and Gavine Hammiltoun, notary-public, servants 
of the said Coleine Campbell, witnessers. Dated at Perth, 6 January 1580." — 
Black Book of T ay month, p. 224, 5. 

The case came up before the Lords of Council on the 29th July, when 
Colin Campbell, dreading lest he should be made a prisoner for the murder 
of the Menzies " taylor," sent his son with the excuse that he was too aged. The 
following is the record of the proceedings : — 

"St Andrews, 29th July 1580. Regarding the feud between the Campbells of 
Glenurchy and the Menzieses of that Ilk — For the arranging of a recent quarrel, 
' betwix Coline Campbell of Glenurquhy, and certane of his freindis and servandis, 
on the [one] part, and James Menzeis of that Ilk, and divers his freindis and 
servandis, on the uther part.' " Both parties had been charged to appear this day 
before the Council, under pain of rebellion and horning. Menzies does appear 
personally ; but Campbell of Glenurchy appears only by his son Colene, " quha 
excusit his fatheris absence be ressoun of his aige, schortnes of tyme sen the 
giving of the said charge, his ignorance of the tyme of the geving thairof, and the 
necessitie craving his remaning in the cuntrie, specialie at this tyme, quhen as, 
throw occasioun of the said contraversie, the maist part of the inhabitantis of the 
same cuntrie ar and hes bene movit to insurrectioun and disordour.' The Lords, 
being maist desirous to have sum mid and indifferent way tane betwix the saidis 
partiis, but juging the personal presence of both principals necessary to that end, 
renew the charge for the personal appearance of both, under the same penalty, 
fixing the 20th of August as the date. Thay require, moreover, both parties, 
under the same pain, within 24 hours after being charged, ' to subscrive be thame 
selffis, and caus be scubscrivit be tua or thrie,' sufficient responsall personis, 
thair souirteis, sic formes of bandis and obligations as salbe directit unto thame, 
notit be the Clerk of Counsale, to induir unto xx day of Januar nixt to cum." 
— Reg. Prv. Col., p. 297, No. 3. 

At the same sitting of the Council, the minister of the Menzies Auld Kirk o' 
Weem became relief of cautioner, as follows : — 

" Caution in £500 by Williame Ruthvene of Ballindane for the appearance of 
Patrik Wobstar, son of Patrik Wobstar in Belthomas, before the justice when 
warned — Johnne Menzeis, parson of Weme, relieving the cautioner." 

Chief James Menzies, before going to the Council meeting (which, as we have 

218 THE "RED &> WHITE" BOOK OF MENZIES. [a.d. 1580. 

seen, was to take place on the 20th August), wrote to Sir James Douglas, asking 
him to meet him there in support of his cause, to which he replied : — 

" [Sir James Douglas of] Drumlangrig to the Laird of Weyme. Edinburgh, 
16 August 1580. Intimates his inability to accompany Weem to the meeting of 
Secret Council, to be held in Stirling on the 20th of the current month ; and 
praying to be excused as the country was ' gretumlie broken.'" — Charter Room, 
Castle Menzies, No. 90. 

Following on the Council (causing Glenurchy and Chief Menzies to find 
caution and bonds for their peace), it was agreed through their friends to submit the 
whole cause of quarrel to arbitration, as follows : — 

" Submission by Coline Campbell of Glenurquhairt and James Menzeis of that 
Ilk, to abide by the decreet arbitral, to be pronounced by Colin, Earl of Argyle, 
Justice-General and Chancellor of Scotland ; Jame, Earl of Glencairn ; and six 
others, as arbitrators in behalf the Laird of Glenurchy ; and by John, Earl of 
Athole ; John, Earl of Montrose ; and six others, on behalf of the Laird of Menzies, 
anent the contested right to the lands of Crannycht, the alledged possession 
aclaimed by the Laird of Glenurchy to the teinds of Achmore, &c, and the 
alledged slaughter and destruction of certain kine pertaining to Glenurchy and his 
tenants, alledged illegal execution of one of Menzeis tenants, and spoiling of 
their goods, and all other quarrels depending between the two Lairds. — 
Stirling, 25 August 1580." 

To this compromit is added a further agreement between Glenurchy and 
Menzeis to continue the above compromit (at the request of the Earl of Argyll) to 
the 4th January 1 58 1, when the arbitrators should meet at Perth. Dated at 
Balloch, same year. — Charter Room, Castle Menzies, No. 206. 

Some time after this arrangement, Chief Menzies received (as showing the 
interest he had in his cause) a letter from : — 

" William, fourth Lord Ruthven, afterwards Earl of Gowrie, to his ' weillbelowitt 
em,' Janes Mengeis, the Laird of Weym. Holyrood House, 21 October 1580. 
Concerning the proposed arbitration by the Earl of Argyll of matters between the 
Lairds of Ween and Glenurchy. Ruthven signs ' Your loving and assuring em.'" — 
Charter Room, Castle Mensies, No. 91. 

Another letter referring to Lord Ruthven, shows that the friendship of Chief 
Menzies was sought by him and the Earl of Athole, and is as follows : — 

" John Stewart, fifth Earl of Athole, to Janes Meingeis, the Laird of Weem. 
' Cowpar,' 25 November 1580. Intimates that Lord Ruthven, Atholl's father-in-law, 
had desired Atholl to be present (with some friends in peaceable manner, without 
armour or weapons), at a meeting of the Secret Council to be held on the penult of 
the month, when Ruthven was required to appear with Lord Oliphant, and wishing 
Weem to meet him in Perth on Sunday at 1 r, or otherwise to be with some friends, 

a.d. 1580-1583.J THE "TRAIST FREIND" OF QUEEN MARY. 219 

Cupar, ' this Settruday 'at 1 1, to accompany him." — Charter Room, Castle Mensies, 
No. 92. 

The Earl of Athole had been at feud with the Chief of Clan Menzies for many 
years. The Menzies refused to acknowledge that he had any justiciary powers 
over him, his country, or the clan, and gained his point over Athole. The Earl then 
made peace, and had to ask his presence and help afterwards. Argyll and Athole 
also having made peace, a banquet was held between them in reconciliation, after 
which Athole died suddenly. His son, succeeding him, commenced the old 
outrages ; his men committed acts of robbery, fire-raising, and plunder. The 
Menzies wrote to Earl Gowrie (narrating these events), who sent him the following 
reply : — 

" William, first Earl of Gowrye, to James Meingeis, the laird of Weem, 
Holyroodhouse, 1 June 1582. Relative to the Earl of Athole's position. He refers 
to ' the reparation of the invasioun intendit for removing of certane of my Lord of 
Athole's best tenandis,' in whom no change had been made since his father's 
decease. Gowrie mentions that he had written to Athole himself on this and on 
' vther thingis that ar done within the bounds of Athoill, that tendis mekle to his 
dishonour, for laik of dew puneischement and tryell in convenient tyme, sic as the 
steilling away of frie personis vnder silence of nycht, and incertane quhither they be 
murdreist or not, and rasing fyir in vther pertis of his boundis, quhilkis things are 
sua put in heid to the king that vnfreindis makes ther advantage heirypoun, sayand 
that gif Grantully and vthers of his assosisation had bene in my lordis favouris, sic 
thingis durst not haive bene attempit, albeit they be lytill abilitie, other to resist or 
remedy sic things.' He hopes shortly to be at Perth, when he trusts to meet with 
Weem." — Charter Room, Castle Mensies, No. 94. 

The feud between Colin Campbell and the Menzies not having been settled, 
the chief received another letter from the Earl of Gowrie (seeking to meet him at 
Stirling, to make up the differences with Glenurchy), as follows : — 

" William, first Earl of Gowrie, to James Meingeis, the laird of Weem, 
Holyrood House, 29 April 1583. Asking the Laird of Weem to appoint a day to 
meet the Earl of Argyll at Stirling, for arrangement (in a friendly manner) of the 
difference between the lairds of Weem and Glenurchy." — Charter Room, Castle 
Menzies, No. 95. 

The same day another letter was sent to Chief Menzies, pressing a settlement, 
as follows : — 

" Letter — William, first Earl of Gowrie, to James Meingeis, the Laird of Weem, 
29 April 1583, Erne. — Efter my verra heartlie commendation. This is till mak yow 
foirseine that I have beine in terms with the Earl of Argyll, anent matters debatabill 
betwix you and my cousing of Glenurquhey, quhom I find maist willing to see the 
samen in friendlie maner composit, and for this effect wes desirous till have ane 

220 THE "RED 6- WHITE" BOOK OF MENZIES. [a.d. 1583-1584. 

appointment tryst thair anent afoir his passing till Argyll. The place theairto 
metest for his eis, is thocht to be Stirling, becaus it is ewast to Castell Campbell, 
quhair presentlie the said Earl remains, that thairfore he may be foirwairnit in dew 
tyme of the day of meting ; I thocht meitt heirby to desire that betwix and the xvi of 
May nixt, ye mak me aduertisit quhat day thairabout ye find maist convenient till 
keip tryist with your freindis in Stirling, according to my Lord Argyllis desire, that 
in the menetyme I may baith latt his lordship be foirsene thairof, as als my cousing, 
quhair I sail nocht spair my awin trawaill to help to put the samen to ane point. 
Thus resting on your ansuir, committis yow to the protection of God, frou 
Halyrudhous, the penult of Aprile 1583. 

Your richt loving erne, 

" To his richt loving erne, 
The Laird of Weim — giwe this." — Charter Room, Castle Menzies, No. 96. 

Notwithstanding all the efforts by plots, outrages, and confederacies put forth 
by Campbell of Glenurchy, to wrest the lands of Moreinch from " The Honourable " 
old Chief James Menzies, the arbitrators decided against Campbell as having no 
right to the land, but allowed him a lease for 13 years, which is as follows : — 

" Decreet-Arbitral by John, Earl of Athole, anent the lands of Wester 
Morinche, contested between Duncan Campbell of Glenurchy, and James Menzies 
of that Ilk ; decerning the latter on the date of this decreet to set these lands in 
tack and assedation for 13 years, to the Laird of Glenurchy ; the latter engaging to 
permit none of the MacGregours, or any others in their name, to ' labour, use, or 
manure' the lands thus awarded him. Dated at Perth, 15 November 1583." — 
Charter Room, Castle Menzies. 

There are also a number of other papers connected with this feud in the 
Charter Room of Castle Menzies, but they may all be summed up thus : — 

Ten papers (1575- 1694) relating to quarrels between the lairds of Glenurchy 
and Weem, as to the right to the lands of Cranach, the Rannoch, Auchmore, &c. ; 
and to acts of spoliation committed by the Laird of Glenurchy and his vassals on 
the Laird of Weem and his tenants, by a contract, dated at Perth, 14 November 
1583, and to which the Earl of Athole and George Drummond of Blair were 
witnesses. The long-continued and serious quarrel as to the lands just mentioned 
was settled, and all other disputes were referred to the arbitration of John Campbell 
of Lawers. 

Shortly after these events, Chief Menzies received notice to appear before the 
Lords of Privy Council : — 

" Holyrood, 20th January 1584. (Re) Raids of Highland robbers in Lennox, 
Stirlingshire, &c. The king and his Council being informed (' that his gude and 
peciable subjectis, inhabiting the cuntreis of the Lennox, Menteyth, Striviling- 


schyne, and Stratherne, ar havelie opprest be reif, stouth, sorning, and utheris 
crymes dalie and nychtlie upoun thame be certane thevis, lymmaris, and sornaris, 
laitlie brokin lowis upoun thame, furth of the brayis of the cuntreis nixt adjacent '; 
charge is given to the following persons to attend the Council on the 28th of 
January, under pain of rebellion, to give information as to the means of repressing 
these outrages : — George Buquhannane of that Ilk, Andro M'Farlan of the 
Arroquhair, Colquhoun of Lus, James, Earl of Glencairne, Johnne Cunninghame 
of Drumquhassill, M'Cawlay of Ardincapill, George Grahame, tutor of Menteyth, 
James, Lord of Doun, Steward of Menteyth, Duncane Campbell of Glenurquhy, 
Coline Campbell of Ardbeth, Lord Methven, Edwin M'Gregour, tutor of Glenstra, 
JAMES Mengeis OF that Ilk, Johnne Murray of Tullibardin, James Galbrayth of 
Kilcreuch, James Edmonstoun of Duntreyth, James Schaw of Strathquhir, Edward 
Reidhewch of Cultebragane, Johnne Murray of Strawane, Alexander Stewart of 
Glennis, William Stewart of Grantuly, Coline Campbell of Glenlyoun, Jonnie 
Campbell of Lawaris, James Chisholme of Cromlix, Sir Archibald Naper of 
Edinbillie, Mr Johnne Halden of Gleneges." — Reg. Pr. CI., p. 718, vol. iii. 

The age and infirmities of the old chief of the Menzies' having been 
represented to James VI., he granted an exemption from attending this meeting 
of the Council, as follows : — 

" Licence by King James the Sixth to James Menzeis of that Ilk, to pass 
homeward without skaith, notwithstanding the charge given to him to compear 
personally before the King and Lords of Secret Council, on the 1 8th of January 
immediately preceding, to answer to such inquiries as should have been made of 
him touching the order taken with the ' brokin men of the Hielandis.' Holyrood- 
house, 12 February 1584." — Charter Room, Castle Menzies, No. 40. 

In April the same year James VI. — to besiege Stirling Castle — called out 
the old chief and Clan Menzies, with other clans. They marched towards 
Edinburgh and joined the main army, then to Linlithgow and Falkirk ; thence 
they invested Stirling, which surrendered 27th April. Clan Menzies was retained 
as his guard until after the execution of the Earl Gowrie, Douglas, and 
Forbes. After the capture of Stirling Castle, he and his clansmen received 
the following discharge : — 

" Licence by King James the Sixth to James Menzeis of that Ilk, his 
men tenentis, seruandis, and dependaris, to depart hame, from the oist, raid, and 
army, assembled for pursuit of the rebels, who had shortly before seized the castle 
and town of Stirling. Dated at Stirling, 5 May 1584." — Charter Room, Castle 
Menzies, No. 38. 

As the "Honourable" old chief grew older, he became more enfeebled. He 
therefore got an exemption from the King to act only on duty within his own 
shire. This order is as follows : — 

222 THE "RED & WHITE" BOOK OF MENZIES. [a.d. i 584-1585. 

"Licence by King James the Sixth to James Menzeis of that Ilk, on account 
of his being vexit almaist containeally with ane nomber of paneful diseases and 
infirmiteis, to remain at home from all oistis, raides, weires, wapinschawingis, 
gatheringis, or assembleis, and dispensing with his attendance at inquests or assises, 
in actions civil or criminal, except in his own shire. Falkland, 17 June 1584." — 
Charter Room, Castle Menzies, No. 39. 

The Robertsons for many generations resided as feuars or tenants, and followers 
of the Menzies' within their ancient barony of Fortingall on the lands of Strowan, 
which they held in feu-farm under the lordship of " The Menzies." Through several 
marriages with the daughters of the chiefs of the Clan Menzies, they considered 
they had some claim on these lands, and although they had no charters, and had 
not come to any definite understanding regarding them, until the aged chief in his 
infirmity was surrounded by enemies, each seeking to take advantage of his old 
age to wrest some of his property from him. At this juncture, Donald Robertson, 
Strowan, induced the chief to submit the matter in dispute to the arbitration of the 
Earl of Huntly, to whom he gave his bond to follow Huntly next to the 
Menzies', for Huntly using his influence with the aged chief of the Menzies' to 
procure him feu-titles. 

In this bond Robertson still acknowledges his dependence on the Chief 
Menzies of Menzies, and Clan Menzies, kin, and friends. The bond between 
the Earl of Huntly and Robertson of Strowan, is as follows : — 

" Be it kend till all men by thir presents, me, Donald Robertson, apperant Heir 
of Strowane, and brother-german to William Robertson of Strowane, for me, my 
heirs, kin, freindis, partakaris, alys, servants, and assistants, to be bound and 
become trew, thrall and aufald man, to a noble and potent erle, George, erle of 
Huntly, Lord Gordon and Badsenocht, etc., as by the tennor of thir presents, binds 
and obliges me faithfully, by the faith and Truth of my body, Clele and Truly, to 
serve the said nobil lord by myself, m heirs, kin, friends, partakaris, alys, servants, 
and assistants, against all whatemsover persons, the Kings majestie only excepted, 
HOUSS OF WEYME, ALIAS MENZES, kin, frendis, and servants thereof, etc. ; 
And that for sundry good deeds done by the said Earl of Huntly to me, and in 
special, for procuring at the hands of umquhill James Menzes of that Ilk, of sic 
hed in and TO THE LANDIS OF STROWANE, to be giffin and disponit, and put in 
the hands of the said nobil and mychty Earle, and by his Lordship to be disponit 
and giffin to me and my heirs ; and also that the said noble Lord has given his 
bond of maintenance to me and my foirsaidis — this my band of manrent subscribed 
with my hand, at Elgin, 6th Mar. 1585, before thir witnesses — Jhon Gordonn of 
Petlurg, Thomas Gordoun, apperant of Clunye, George Farcharson in Descorge, 


and maister Frances Cheyne. Donald Robertsone, aperand of Strowan." — Spal. 
Club Misy., Gordon Papers, p. 235. 

A relic of the ancient Menzies Church of Struan — in the ages when the chiefs 
of Menzies flourished, the lords of the whole barony of Fortingall, confirmed by 
King Robert the Bruce by charter, of which the barony of Struan was afterwards a 
sub-barony, held in feu-farm by the Robertsons from the Menzies', as is shown by the 
foregoing — is the Celtic Menzies Bell of Struan, given under. It is of iron, coated 
with bronze, part of which is now oxydized. It is one of several Celtic bells 
belonging to the ancient country of the Menzies', — Trans, Society of Antiquaries 
of Scotland, p. 346, 1878-9. 


Chief James the Menzies, by honourable and upright actions and his desire for 
the peace of the Highlands, gained for him the respect of the king, the attempts 
made to get jurisdiction over him by Athole having failed. The actions of the 
Campbells against the MacGregors having been exposed to the king by him, 
showing them to be the actual robbers, while they put the blame on the MacGregors, 
and that they could not be relied upon. King James VI., therefore, saw in Chief 
James the Menzies the most reliable and just man in the district, and appointed 
him as his justice in that part of the Highlands. His letter of Commission as 
Justice signed by the king himself, is still preserved in the Charter Room of 
Castle Menzies, and is as follows : — 

" Letter of Justiciary, under the Signet, by King James the Sixth to James 
Menzeis of that Ilk, narrating that whereas it was known to the King and Council 

224 THE "RED cV WHITE" BOOK OF MENZIES. [a.d. 1585. 

what great crimes, opressions, and wrongs had been committed on his ' louit faithfull 
Subject and Seruitour, James Menzeis of that Ilk,' and his friends and tenants of 
Rannoch and his other lands, by ' sundrie theves, murtherarris, sornerris and 
oppressouris of vickit and perversit clannis of the Hielands, and others adiacent 
to his lands and rowmes ' ; and lately by the ' slauchteris of sum of his tenentis 
and seruandis, casting doune of his mylins, houssis, and biggings thairoff, 
reveing and spuilseing of his tenentis guiddis and geir, hoicheing and slaying of 
mony and sindrie cattle and guiddis ' ; and specially committed by Donald 
Makevvin, VcGilloch Clych, Donald Roy MacKcarquhar, Neil Leiche, James 
Makconell, VcCranneld, and Gregour Gow, with thair complicis, appointing the 
said James Menzies of that Ilk, his justice in that part, to take the persons named, 
and their complices, to put them to an assise and punish to the death, or otherwise, 
as their crimes deserved, or to imprison them till justice could be ministered, with 
the same power as the King's Justice-General had in such cases ; commanding all 
the leiges in the bounds adjacent, if required, to ' ryse, ryde, gang, assist, fortifie and 
convene with our said justice in that part or his deputtis, and, if neid be, with 
power to mak oppin durris, asseige houssis and strenthis, rais fyre and vse vther 
rigour to that effect, in cais thay will not be takin.' Dated at Holyroodhouse, 
23 April 1585. Subscribed by the King and Lords of Secret Council." — Charter 
Room, Castle Menzies, No. 43. 

The old Menzies Castle or Fortress of Moynes (Moness), on the hill above 
Aberfeldy having been captured by a band of broken men or caterans, Chief James 
the Menzies (as justice of the district, and holding the king's commission), ordered 
Stewart of Grandtully to assist in besieging the fort, and also to find caution. It 
reads as follows : — 

" Extract entry from the books of the Privy Council respecting the acting and 
obligation of Merser of Mekillour, and James Scrymgeour of the Myres, as cautioners 
for Thomas Stewart of Grantullie, that the said Thomas should assist (with his 
whole forces) those under James ' Menzies of that Ilk,' His Majesty's commissioner, 
for the asieging of the place and fortalice of the Moynes, and pursuit of its 
detainers, and all other rebelles, fugitives, and broken ' men, troublares of the 
common quietness of the countrie,' under the penalty of two thousand pounds. 
Edinburgh, 1st May 1585." — Charter Room, Castle Menzies, No. 208. 

Having thus to enforce the law as empowered by his commission, we find 
Chief James the Menzies granting bond of manrent to young Campbell, Murthly, 
which is as follows : — 

" Bond by John Campbell, son to the deceased John Campbell of Murthlie, to 
James Menzeis of that Ilk, to serve him and no others, the king and the Earl of 
Argyll excepted. Weem, 3 June 1585." — Charter Room, Castle Menzies, No. 181. 

It appears that the Earl of Athole and Stewart of Grandtully were not giving 

a.d. 1585.] THE "TRA/ST EREIJVD" OE QUEEN MARY. 225 

the necessary assistance to the King's Justiciary in putting down the broken men, 
which being reported by the Chief, the King summoned them, as follows, before 
him : — 

" Letter under the Signet, and subscribed by King James the Sixth, to John, 
Earl of Athol, and Thomas Stewart of Grandtully, to appear before the King and 
Council at Holyrood, or elsewhere, to answer such inquiries as shall be made 
touching ' gude rule and ordour-keping in the cuntre,' under pain of rebellion. 
Holyroodhouse, 4 June 1585." — Charter Room, Castle Menzies, No. 41. 

Notwithstanding the firm hand with which King James VI. administered 
justice over Scotland, particularly in the Highlands, he seemed to be aware that 
several of the chiefs, such as Black Duncan Campbell, Athole, Grandtully, and 
others in Lochaber were acting a double part, and secretly in league with the 
caterans and robbers. He therefore wrote Athole and others the following letter, 
a copy of which he sent to the chief : — 

Letter of King James the Sixth, in reference to the broken men of Lochaber 
and Athole. Dunfermline, June 1585 [address wanting]. "Traist freind, we greet 
yow weill. Forsamekle as we, understanding that our loving and obedient subiect, 
James Menzies of that Ilk, the Laird of Weyme, his tennentis and servandis ar 
oftymes invadit and hurte be certane brokin men, sornaris of Lochquhaber and 
Athole, be the stering up and hunding oute of certane evil affecionat personis, his 
nychbouris, to the graite contempt of us and our auctoritie and to the disquieting 
of the estate of the countrey. Thairfore we desire yow effectuouslie to assist and 
fortifie the said Laird of Weyme and his freindis in the taking, persewing, and 
apprehending of the saidis brokin men and sornaris, for presenting thame befoir 
our iustice Justice James Menzies and his deputis, to be pvnist for thair demereitis, 
and that ye fortifee him in all his iust caussis, quhairanent ye will us acceptable 
plesour. At Dunfermline, the . . . day of Junii 1585." — Contemporary Copy, 
Charter Room, Castle Menzies, No. 42. 

The sentence in the king's letter about certain evil affected persons, his 
neighbours, clearly points to Black Duncan Campbell, who was carrying on an 
underhand system of robbery by proxy. To this King James evidently refers in 
this letter. 

Notwithstanding the settlement of the feuds between Glenurchy and Menzies, 
Duncan Campbell still acted a double part. We give it as described by a 
Campbell : — 

" Black Duncan with the cowl," who succeeded his father Colin Campbell of 
Glenorchy, in 1583. The Macgregors in [at] Roro renewed the old bonds of man- 
rent to "Black Duncan" at Balloch, 5th July 1585. 

" Bond of Gregour Makconaquhie V'Gregour in Roro, Alester M'Ewin 
V'Conquhie there, Gregour Makolchallum in Innerbar in Glenlyon, Duncan 


226 THE "RED is- WHITE" BOOK OF MENZIES. [a.d. 1585. 

Makgregour his son in Kildie, and William Mackgregour, son to the said Gregour 
there, to Duncan Campbell of Glenurquhay, showing that their forbears had 
granted the like bond to the deceased Colline Campbell of Glenurquhay, and 
obliging themselves, if it should happen that Mackgregour, by himself or 
accomplices, should break upon the said Duncan or his heirs, their lands, tenants, 
and possessions, to renounce him as their chief, and to take part with 
the said Duncan against him." 

But the experience of the last feud had convinced Glenorchy of the evanescent 
effect of these bonds when a question affecting the honour of the Clan Gregour or 
the prerogatives of their chief was the matter in debate, and he was therefore 
anxious to add to the assurance of voluntary submission, the better recognised 
title and right of lord-superior. As formerly mentioned, the superiority of the 
lands occupied on " middleman " tenure by the house of Roro, was vested in the 
family of " Chief James the Menzies." The substance of the bond given below 
shows by what unscrupulous means Glenorchy sought to wrest from the Laird of 
Weem the right which he held of him already as a tenant : — ■ 

" Johne, Earl of Athole, binds himself not to appoint nor agree with James 
Menzies of that Ilk, in regard to any controversy, until Glenurquhay should first 
obtain in feu or long tacks from James Menzies, his lands lying on the west side of 
the water of Lyoun, holden of him, James Menzies, by the said Duncane ; and that 
he would not reset, nor allow to be resetted within his bounds, any goods belonging 
to James Menzies or his tenants, or show them any favour ; that if the said James 
Menzies should pursue the said Duncane, or be pursued by him, he would assist 
the said Duncan with all his forces, and that he should give the like assistance against 
the Clangregour if they should render aid to said James Menzies. At Dunkeld, 
25 June 1585." — The Lairds of Glen/yon, by D. Campbell; and Black Book of 
Toy mouth. 

So much did King James trust Chief James Menzies, that he granted him 
power to use " Hagbuttis " guns and pistols. The grant runs thus : — 

" Warrant by King James the Sixth under the Signet in favour of James 
Menzies of that Ilk, his tenants, &c, to use ' hagbuttis, pistolettis, and all vther 
ingynis of fyir werk ' in pursuit of certain lymmaris and brokin men of the 
Hielands, who had committed against them ' gret sornings, depredationis and 
enormiteis.' Dated 1585." — ante July 29, Charter Room, Castle Menzies, No. 44. 

As we have seen, the Earl of Huntly on arranging the bonds between 
Robertson of Strowan and himself, came under an obligation to use his friendship 
with his relative Chief James the Menzies, to get for him better terms of the lands 
of Strowan. This he at length almost obtained on the deathbed of the chief, as 
the following excerpt will show : — 

"31 August 1585. — Excerpt from minute of heads contracted between George, 


Earl of Huntly, and James Menzies of that Ilk. The Earl becomes bound to 
maintain and defend James Menzies against all deadly, the King only excepted, 
and James Menzies is to make his whole dependence with his friends upon the 
Earl. The said James Menzies shall submit to the Earl of Huntly the right 
and title he pretends to in the lands of Strowan, and shall stand and abide by 
the same." 

Annexed to that agreement, and made at " Ruthven, in Badenoch, the fyft of 
September 1585, the latter will of James Menzies of that Ilk, being sick in body 
and haill in spirit, whereby at the sight of the Earl of Huntly he makes over in 
favour of his wife and bairns, his goods and geir to be distributed to them, and the 
Inventory of his goods to be given up justly by his friends, chamberlains, and 
intromitters therewith. And appoints the said Earl to be tutor to his eldest son, 
and ordains the title and right made to him of the lands of Strowan by William 
Robertson of Strowan, to be put in his Lordship's hands, to be given by him to 
Donald Robertson, brother of said William, he giving bond to the said Earl." 
Not signed. — Charter Room, Castle Menzies, No. 182. 

The above shows that at that date Chief James the Menzies was nearing his 
latter end. But as this document was never signed, so far therefore as we can 
discover, he, Chief James the Menzies, surnamed "The Honourable," died about the 
5th September 1585. 

Chief Sir James the Menzies by his wife, the Hon. Barbara Stewart, who 
survived him, left two sons and two daughters : — 

1st. Sir Alexander the Menzies, his successor as Chief of Clan Menzies and 
estates of Menzies. 

2nd. Duncan Menzies of Comrie. A charter was granted to this Duncan of 
the lands and barony of Comrie, which is in the Charter Room of Castle Menzies ; 
and from this Duncan and branch of the Comrie Menzies' was lineally descended 
Captain John Menzies, who figured in the 1745, and end of 18th century, and of 
whom are others of the name and clan of Menzies descended at the present 

1st. Daughter — Helen Menzies, married James Beaton of Megum, of which 
marriage there is a discharge of tocher in the Charter Room of Castle 

2nd. Grizel Menzies, married James Grant of Ardmilly, brother-german to 
John Grant of Freuchie, ancestor of the chief and laird of Grant. The lairds of 
Grant until comparatively lately were called the Grants of Frechy. The contract of 
this marriage is in the Charter Room of Castle Menzies. 


228 THE "RED 6- WHITE" BOOK OF MENZIES. [a.d. 1585. 


Chieftain Thomas Menzies of Pitfodels, who sat in the Parliaments of 
Queen Mary, and was Provost of Aberdeen from 1547 to 1576. 

Chieftain Gilbert Meingeis, Lord Provost of Aberdeen from 1576 to 
1588, and sat in the Scottish Parliaments of James VI., held at Edinburgh 15th July 
1 5 78, also 20th October 1 5 79 to November 1 5 79, and 24th October 1 5 8 1 to November 
1 58 1. He was baron of and held the estates of Pitfodels. 

William Meinzies, brother of the above. Sat in the Convention of Royal 
Burghs held at Edinburgh, October 1579, and at Glasgow, 24th February 1579 ; also 
at Stirling, in March 1579, as the representative of Aberdeen, and again at Edin- 
burgh, 17th April 1 58 1. 

" Andro" Menzies, who represented the City of Aberdeen at the Convention 
of Royal Burghs, held at Aberdeen, 25th March 1541. 

Chieftain Gilbert Menzeis, Baron of Cowlie, who possessed these lands 
near Aberdeen. His name is attached to an instrument of Sasine, 1560. 

CHIEFTAIN ROBERT MEINZEIS of " Comry," and his brother John " Menzes," 
appear in connection with bonds of manrent, 1559. Robert's name is attached to 
others, 8th June 1585, and 28th May 1586. From him descend branches of the 
Comrie Menzies'. 

Chieftain Patrick " Menzeis " of Comrie, son of the above Robert, is a 
witness to bonds of manrent, 15th July 1585. 

JAMES MENZES, brother of Robert Menzies of Comrie, is also a witness to 
bonds, 14th October 1560. 

Cheftain John MENZEIS, surnamed Barroun, The Baron, also brother to 
Chieftain Robert, is a witness to bonds, 9th March 1559, and in 1561. From him 
descend Menzies' to the present day. 

Rev. John MENZEIS, who was Protestant minister of the Auld Kirk 
o' Weem, and chaplain to the Chief James the Menzies of Menzies. 

Chieftain James Mengeis of Foird or Forrdie, afterwards called Lawers 
in Strathearn near Comrie, a portion of the ancient territory of the Menzies', 
inherited by his branch. 

Chief Sir Hleyanoer tbe "flfteincBies," Iknigbt, 52no from 
flDa^nue, anb I5tb Baron of flDeit3ies. 

A.D. I 566-1644. 

CHIEF SIR ALEXANDER THE MENZ1ES on the death of his 
father, Chief James the Menzies, surnamed " the Honourable," being 
under age, did not therefore get possession of the estates of Menzies 
for some years. He was a student in the University of Glasgow at 
the time of his father's death, where his classic genius and great ability as a 
scholar made him one of the students of distinction at the University. He 
excelled in the composition of Latin verse, for which poetic excellence he was 
made the Laureate of his time. This honour was conferred on him in the year 
1582, the event being recorded in the " Registrant Glasguense" as follows: — 
" Univirsity Glasguensis Fati Qui Laurea exorrnati sunt in Glaseugna, anno 
noto Laureati anno 1582, Alexander Meinzeis!' Translation: — "The University 
of Glasgow adds and confers as a Poet, adorned with laurel by Glasgow, the 
wreath or mark of Poet Laureate upon Alexander Meinzeis, in the year 
1585." We also find him before this in connection with a " Decreit Arbitrall" 
of the University of Glasgow, A.D. 1584, to which his name is appended 
Alexander Meinzeis, witness. Again, to a charter of King James VI., connected 
with the University of Glasgow, in 1584, is attached the name of Alexander 
Meinzeis as a witness. On the death of his father he was obliged to withdraw 
from his career at the University, where he had made so noble a mark. From 
thence we find him engaging in all the troubles with which the Highlands of 
Scotland were afflicted. From this time, through life, we find him a chief, 
honourable, upright, and considerate, being much respected and looked up to 
as a man of learning. 

Owing to the nonage of Sir Alexander Menzies, we find Lady Menzies 
trying to fortify her position by a bond of service, as follows : — 

" Bond by John Campbell in Droumfallante to serve and obey Barbara 

2 3 o THE u RED & WHITE" BOOR OF MENZIES. [a.d. 1585. 

Stewart, Lady Weem, as a true servant ought to do, till the time that her 
eldest son, Alexander Menzes, should come to perfect age, and to ' ken na 
wther in deuring hes menoratie,' &c, at Menzes, 12 September 1585." — Charter 
Room, Castle Menzies, No. 183. 

This was a necessary step, as, on the death of the Chief James the Menzies, 
his old enemies, who could not get the better of him during his life, now sought 
to take advantage of the minority of the young chief and his mother. For 
this purpose a confederacy was formed, consisting of the Campbells, the Earl 
of Athole, Stewart of Grandtully, Macintosh, Lord Drummond, Graham of 
Menteith, Murray of Tullibardine, and others, all of whom, immediately after 
the death of " The Honourable " chief, set their followers to rob and plunder the 
lands of Menzies'. Under these circumstances Lady Menzies enlisted the Earl 
of Huntly in her favour. The earl was all-powerful at this time in the north, 
being known as the " Cock of the North," and well knew the condition of the 
Highlands. Her ladyship, therefore, had him appointed ward of the young 
chief, as follows : — ■ 

" Office Copy from the Register of Privy Seal of a letter of Gift to George, 
Earl of Huntly, of the ward and nonentry of the barouny of Menzeis and other 
lands belonging to the deceased James Menzeis of that Ilk ; with releif of the 
same, and marriage of Alexander Menzeis, his heir. Stirling, 27 September 
1585." — Charter Room, Castle Menzies, No. 209. 

The appointment of Huntly as ward of Menzies was all the more urgent 
as the Earl of Athole especially was making great inroads into the Menzies 
country. Clan Menzies, although without a chief, seems to have given 
stroke for stroke ; and owing to this state of matters the young chief was 
exempted from joining the royal army then mustering, as is shown by the 
following : — 

" Licence under the signet by King James the Sixth to Alexander Menzeis 
of that Ilk, and his tenants and servants, to remain at home from the army 
summoned to convene at Castle of Craufurde, for the purpose of proceeding 
towards the borders against 'our rebellis and disobedient subiectis.' The reason 
assigned for the letters of licence is that between the kin, tenants, and servants 
of John, Earl of Athole, and those of Alexander the Menzies, there had been 
' sindrie slauchteris, depradationis, and reiffs committed on ather syde,' and the 
latter party could not pass from their lands without ' forther inconvenient to 
follow.' Dated at Stirling, 28 October 1585." — Charter Room, Castle Menzies, 
No. 45. 

On the 23rd September 1586 Lady Menzies made a further confirmation 
of the ward of her son to the Earl of Huntly, which is set forth in the form of 
an obligation, as follows : — 


"The Lady Weimes Obligatioun, 1586. 

" Be it kend till all men by thir present letters, me, Barbara Stewart, ladye 
Weyme, relict of umquhill James Menzies of that Ilk, to be boundin and oblist, 
as be the tenor heirof, binds and obleges me faithfully to ane nobill and potent 
lord, George, Earl of Huntly, lord Gordoun and Badzenocht, etc., in maner as 
follows : that forsameikill as it has pleased the said nobill lord freilie to give 
and dispon to me all and sindrie the lands perteining to the hous of Weyme, 
that presently wairdis in his lordschips hands, as donatour to our soverane 
lords Gift of the Ward, and nonentrie of Alexander Menzes, my sonne, with 
all profeittis and commoditeis whatsomever pertaining thereto, and that to the 
weill and commoditie of the barnis procreat betuix the said umquhill James 
Menzeis and me, etc. ; nevertheles, I will and grantis, and alswa, be the faytht 
and trewtht in my bodie, binds and obliges me, that in case it shall happin me 
directly or indirectly, cullorablie or plainlie, to appoint with my Lord of Atholl 
anent the questionis standand or recounsalit betuix him and the said house of 
Weyme, or to contract friendship, or if my dependance upon any other person 
by the said noble Lord, Earl of Huntlie, or that I onthankfullie, ingraitlie, or 
ontrewlie behaiffis myself towards his lordship in all sords, and make not just 
compt and reckning of the profeittis and commoditeis that shall happen to be 
oblessit, etc. ; in that caice the said nobill Lord, Earl of Huntly, shall have full, 
free, and plane ingres, regres, entres, and access, agane in and to the said ward 
lands, etc. In faytht and witness of the which, I have subscribed this present 
obligation, in forme of regres, with my lands as follows, and for the mair suirtie 
affixit my signett, at Menzeis, 23 d Sept. 1586, before thir witnesses — Alexander 
Menzeis, sone to Jhon Menzeis, Robert Menzies in Snype, and Patrik Menzeis, 
son to Jhon Menzeis of Morinche. 

"Barbara Stewart, Lady Weyme, 
" with my hand led at the pen. 

" Ita est Walterus Robertson, notarius-publicus, etc." — Gordon Papers, Spald. 
Club Miscellany, p. 237. 

Lady Menzies trusted Huntly all the more, because the Menzies' of Pitfodels 
and other branch cadets of the Clan Menzies in Aberdeenshire were the fast 
friends of the Earl of Huntly, and continued so. The confederacy of the 
Campbells, Athole, and others having plundered and robbed the tenants on the 
Menzies' country, Lady Menzies was determined that, if she could not handle 
the claymore, dirk, and targe, she would not let her son's lands and people be 
down-trodden and robbed. She therefore applied to King James VI., and got 
the following precept : — 

" Precept under the signet of King James VI. and the Lords of Privy 

232 THE "RED & WHITE" BOOK OF MENZIES. [a.d. 1586. 

Council, at the instance of Barbara Stewart, Lady Weme, narrating that ' quhair 
it is notour . . . quhat masterfull reffis, herschippis, stouthis, and depredationis 
scho hes sustenit and dalie sustenis be thevis, broken men, and sornaris of Clannis 
duelland upoun the landis, rowmis, and possessionis of Archibald Erll of Ergyle, 
Johnne Erll of Athoill, Thomas Stewart of Grantullie, Angus M'Kintoshe of 
Dunnauchtane, Allaster M'Krannaldin, Patrik Lord Drummond, Erll of Menteith, 

John Grahame, tutor of Menteith, Williame Murray of Tullibardine, and 

M'Farlane of that Ilk ... be quhome not onlie are hir guidis and geir maist 
theftuuslie and masterfullie reft, stollin, and awaytane ; bot be the oft frequenting, 
resorting and repairing of the saidis thevis and brokin men to hir landis and 
rowmes, they swee, oppress and persewthe pure tenentis and labouraris thairof 
for thair bodilie harme and slaughter in defence and recoverie of thair awne 
guidis, that thai ar constranit to leave rowmis, and swa thairby the maist parte 
of the said complenaris boundis and possessionis ar layed waist, not only to her 
hurte, but to the utter wrak and heirschip of mony honnest houshaldaris, tennantis 
and labouraris of the same.' . . . 

" The persons named above are charged to find responsible securities that 
Lady Weem sustain no further injuries from them or by their causing, each of 
the earls under the pain of 5000/., Lord Drummond under the pain of 4000/. ; the 
others above named under the pain of 2000/. Holyroodhouse, 3 December 
1586." — Charter Room, Castle Menzies, No. 210. 

Thus the Earl of Athole was brought to justice, and had to find security in 
^5000 that no further acts of robbery, &c, would be done on the Menzies' lands 
and people ; the Earl of Argyle also in .£5000, the Earl of Menteith in .£5000, 
and the others as above noted. But although a precept had been got from the 
king against Athole, it was another thing to enforce or get Athole and his con- 
federates to comply with its stipulations. It appears that Athole had given 
assurance that none of his men or any of the clan septs on his lands should do 
any more depredations on the lands of the Menzies'. Still the feud went on, 
apparently without ceasing. The double-dealing of Athole being laid before the 
king, the result was that the earl was cited to appear before the king and council 
at Edinburgh, 27th December 1586, the record of which is as follows : — 

"Edinburgh, 27th December 1586. The King and Council declare that, if 
Johnne, Earl of Athoill, after granting the assurance to George, Earl of Huntley, 
lieutenant in the North, Alexander Menzeis of Weyme, George Drummond of 
Blair, and others comprehended therein, shall either by himself or by others for 
whom he is bound, assist in any way the Heland and broken men or othiris 
quhatsumevir, in invading the lands of the said Alexander Menzies and George 
Drummond or their tenants, be way of maisterfull reiff and depredatioun, or suffer 
them to remain within his bounds for 24 hours eftir the committing of the saidis 


crymes, with his knawlege and writting, in that case the enorme deidis and. 
crymes of the said depredators salbe estemit as brek of the same assurance, and he 
salbe haldin to answer for thame, as assistaris and parttakaris with him and his in 
the actioun questionable betwix him and the said George, Erll of Huntley. 
Intimation of this is to be made to the Earl of Athoill, and a list of the special 
names of the saidis Hieland men and broken men generalie mentionat of befoir, is 
to be delivered to him. 

" George, Earl of Huntley, on the one part, and Johnne, Earl of Athoill, on the 
other part, were lately required by his Highness to subscribe an assurance to each 
other. Athoill has subscribed the said assurance to Huntley, but refuses, or at 
least delays to assure George Drummond of Blair. Huntley being movit be his 
Hienes, has refused to subscrib altogether. Hence forder trouble and inconvenient 
is liklie to fall oute umangis thame, to baith their displeasure and disquieting of the 
present estate of the cuntrey. Accordingly, Huntley is charged to subscribe the 
said assurance for his part, and Athoill to subscribe the assurance in favour of 
George Drummond, while both are to dissolve their forces, gif ony be alreddy 
assemblit be thame, and to desist and ceis fra all making of convocatioun of his 
Hienes liegis in armes, and fra persute and invasioun of uthiris boundis, rowmis, 
and possessionis, be way of hostilite and depredatioun, bot to observe his Hienes 
peace, quietness, and gude reule in the cuntrey." — Reg. Pr. Col., Scot., p. 131, vol. iv. 

In the reign of King James VI. there was laid before the Scottish 
Parliament, 29th July 1587, a list of the Highland Clans, on which Roll are 
mentioned the " Meingies in Athoill, and Apnadull." 

A cadet branch of the Menzies' who had got as their portion the lands of 
Foird, afterwards Fordie, in Strathearn, near Comrie, on the old lands of the 
Menzies' called Monzievaird, and now called Lawers, which had been their 
inheritance for many generations, for which they, on the 29th July 1587, had by 
King James VI. passed an Act of the Scottish Parliament of favours to James 
Menzies of Foird or Foirdie, and John Menzies his son. The cause of the 
application by these Menzies', which we give here as an illustration of the state of 
Scotland, was that some of " the greedy Campbells," jealous of their lands, lodged 
false accusations against them to the king and council. As they got no notice of 
such, and being a long distance from Edinburgh, they knew nothing of what had 
happened until they were denounced as rebels and their lands forfeited. On 
learning the cause, they at once took steps to get this reversed. We give the Act 
of Parliament granting these favours, and restoring them to their lands and 
possessions, which is as follows : — 

"Act in favour of James and Johnne Menyeiss. — Anent the application presented 
and given in to our Souverane Lord, and Lords of Articles, by James Menyeis of 
Foird (Fordie), and Johnne Menyies his son, makeing mention, That they were 

234 THE "RED &• WHITE" BOOK OF MENZIES. [a.d. 1587. 

denounced as our Soverane Lords rebells, and put to his hienes home at the 
instance of some persons, who upon pretence whereof, Intends to exclude thame 
from all compearance in jugment in persuite and defence of differant actions presently 
pending befoir the lordis of Session and other juges, which are of great weight and 
consequence, To the recovery of which, the which actions, releiff of the said 
horneing and satisfaction of their creditors, seeing it is necessary that they be heard 
in jugment by themselves and their procurators, and therefore desiring our said 
Soverane Lord with advise of his said estaits, To dispense with all and what- 
somever hornings or whatever Acts of Parliament made in the contrairy, led against 
the said James and Johnne Menyeiss, at the instance of whatsomever person or 
persons for any cause or occasion in the past, preceding the date hereof, unto 
the . . . day of . . . next to come, To the effect that they by themselves or their 
procurators may persue and defend in their ' inst ' actions, and thereby recover the 
said horneings, and in the meantime that they may legitimately resorte within the 
realm in doing of their lawfull business. Ordaining herefor the Lords of Council and 
Session to suffer and permitt the said persons by themselves and their procurator, to 
do and defend in their said actions, Notwithstanding of the said horning or anything 
therein contained, made in the contrairy. Anent the which it will please his 
highness and the three estatites, to dispense as at more lenth is contained in the said 
supplication, Which being heard, 'sene,' and considered by his Majestie and lords of 
articles, and therewith rightly addressed. Our said Soverane Lord, with advice and 
consent of the said estates of Parliament, dispenses with all whatsomever Hornings 
or Acts of Parliament made in the contrary, led against the said James and Johnne 
Menyeiss, at the instance of whatsomever person or persons, for any cause or 
occasion, past preceding the date hereof, 'sa far' and in the same manner as the lordis 
of Counsall and Session has despenced already with the foresaid hornings, To the 
effect the said James and Johnne Menyeiss by themselves and their procurators, may 
perseu and defend in their iust actions, and thereby recover releif of the hornings, 
and in the meantime, that they may ' lesumilie ' resort within the realm, in doing of 
their lawful buisness, as amply and freely in all sortes, as the said lords of Counsall 
and Session has granted the same to them before." — Acts Par. Scot., James VI, 
p. 496, vol. iii. 

Chieftain James Menzies of Fordie defeated the Campbells, and their accusers. 
Their descendants held their lands for over another 120 years, and from them 
descend the Menzies' of Crieff and neighbourhood. At last the Campbells of 
Lawers by some art got these lands, and changed the name to Lawers, about 1690 
or 1700. 

On a part of these old Menzies' lands of Fordie (now Lawers), near Comrie, in 
Strathearn, there was found in a cist an urn, possibly the work of some of the 
ancient Celtic race of Menzies. It is quite artistic in shape, displaying a freedom 

a.d. 1587-1588.] THE POET LAUREATE OF CLAN MENZIES. 235 

of handling by the Celtic potter, only equalled by the pencil sketch of a first-rate 
artist of to-day. — Trans. Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, vol. xvi., p. 307. 

On the 29th of August 1587 Dowager Lady Menzics died and was buried in the 
Auld Kirk o' Weem, where there is an inscription on the back of the Menzies 
Altar to her memory, in Latin, as follows : — 

" barbaara steveri . comites barbara stewart, the eari. of 

Atholi/E Sponsa . Jacobi . Mezes . Athole's Daughter, Wife of Sir James Menzies. 

Mater . Conditoris . Nvis . Sepvic r anslatwn . chronicling her death, 29TH August 1587, 
Hri . Obit . 29 . Av . 15S7." and this place, her Sepulchre. 

The inscription is somewhat ornamental, with one projecting member on the 
tops and three on the under side, having a border all round. Below is the 
escutcheon of the Stewarts, with an earl's coronet above. This is beautifully cut 
out of the hard stone, every line of the quartering being as fine as when cut. The 
arms are, — 1st and 4th, a fesse chequy ; 2nd and 3rd, paly of six. 

Some time before the death of his mother the young chief married Margaret 
Campbell, daughter of Duncan Campbell of Glenurchy, of which marriage there 
was no issue. She predeceased her husband. 

Sir Alexander the Menzies was in 1588 retoured, served heir to his father, the 
good Chief James the Menzies, in the estates of Menzies, &c, the document of 
which retour is in the Charter Room of Castle Menzies. 

For some time there had not been so much trouble between Glenurchy and the 
Menzies', doubtless on account of matrimonial alliances. This was followed by 
Duncan Campbell becoming the follower of Sir Alexander the Menzies, to whom 
he gave his bond, which reads :— 

" Bond of ' freindschip and amitie ' between Duncan Campbell of Glenurchy 
and Alexander Menzeis of that Ilk, who excepts the service of Duncan Campbell to 
the Earl of Argyle, and of Alexander Menzeis to the Earl of Huntly. Perth, 
nth August 1588." — -Abridged from Charter Room, Castle Menzies, No. 184. 

Close on the peace with Glenurchy, Sir Alexander the Menzies made a similar 
arrangement with the Earl of Huntly, as follows : — 

236 THE "RED cV WHITE" BOOK OF MENZIES. [a.d. 1588-1589. 

"Bond by Menzies of that Ilk, 1588. 

" Be it kend till all men be thir present letters, me, Alexander Menzeis of that 
Ilk, to be bound and oblyed, and by the tennor hereof, the faith and truth of my 
body, lelelie and truly binds and obliges me in faithfull and treu band of service to 
ane noble and michtie lord, George, Earl of Huntlie, Lord Gordoun and 
Badzenocht, etc., prometing and obliging me to fortifie, menteine, and defend the 
said michtie lord, in all his actions, caussis, and quarrels, honest and just, and that I 
shall take ane treu, unfewseit, and afald pairt with him therein, against whatsomever 
person or persons (my lawtie and allegeance to our souerane lord the king's 
majestie being always excepted), etc. ; in witness of the which I have subscribed 
thir presents with my hand, at Edinburgh, the 10th December 1588, befoir thir 
witnessis — Johne Campbell of Laweris, Alexander Drummound of Midhoip, and 
Gavine Hammiltoun, notar. 

Alexander Menzes of that Ilk." 
Spal. Club Misy., Gorn. Prs., p. 241. 

The Earl of Huntly had for his design by this bond the hope of getting Sir 
Alexander the Menzies to desert the king, in the event of him and the Romish 
party coming to blows with the Royal power. Huntly during the fitting out of the 
Armada corresponded with Spain for help, considering himself in danger from the 
Protestants. Huntly and the Romish party raised the standard of rebellion in the 
North, early in 1589. In this he was assisted by the Earl of Errol, the Menzies' of 
Pitfodels, Findon, Durne, and others in Aberdeenshire. James VI. summoned 
Sir Alexander the Menzies and clan to join him against the rebels. The fiery 
cross was sent round the Menzies' country, and Clan Menzies joined the army of the 
king as he marched North. Huntly and his forces were dispersed, himself and 
confederates being captured by the Protestant army. After the insurrection was 
suppressed, Clan Menzies was encamped at Aberdeen in guard of King James ; and 
there we find them on the 29th April 1589, headed by Sir Alexander the Menzies, 
who, apparently having received information that his presence was required at 
home, procured leave of absence, which was granted by the king as follows : — 

" Licence by King James VI., under the Signet, in favour of Alexander 
Menzeis of that Ilk, to pass home or elsewhere on business from the service of the 
king. Dated at Aberdeen, 29th April 1589." — Charter Room, Castle Menzies. 

The late Chief James the Menzies and Stewart of Grandtully, although related 
by marriage — it did not count much in their time — but we find in the time of their 
sons that " blood was thicker than water." The two young chiefs were cousins, 
and this at least for a time had a friendly effect and stopped the feud. This 
friendship is shown by the following letter : — 

" Sir Alexander Menzes of that Ilk to (Sir Thomas Stewart of Grandtully), 


8th June c. 1590. Rycht Honerabell and sister barnes, efter maist hartie 
commendationes : For samekell as ye shall wet that my men off Tolledonel hes 
not mosses bot within you : Wuharfor I man desyr you eifectusle to grant tham 
moss lef, and thai shall satefe tenendis, that ye sail nocht her thair complant, as I 
sail be rede to do you the lyk plesour, as I awcht of dewte. These I belef ye well 
do for my request, and sua well commet you to God. From Weeme, the viii of 
June, be your assurit sester barnes — 

To the rycht honorabell and sesster barnes, the Laird of Grantelle." 

Sir Thomas Stewart of Grandtully, to whom this letter was addressed, was the 
son of William Stewart of Grandtully, and the Lady Elizabeth Stewart, daughter of 
John, third Earl of Athole. The writer of the letter, ' Sir Alexander Menzes of that 
Ilk,' was the son of Lady Barbara Stewart, sister of Lady Elizabeth. Sir Alexander 
Menzes and the Laird of Grandtully were thus sisters' bairns. — Red Book of 
Grandtully, p. 135, vol. 2. 

The general Commission of 1589 against the MacGregors was to endure for 
the space of three years ; but as the Commissioners had not all the same interest 
in the extinction of the Clan Gregor as Glenorchy, they exhibited apparent back- 
wardness in the matter. A particular Commission was sought and granted to 
Sir Duncan Campbell, July 1 591 , in which the Clan Gregor as a whole are 
described as rebels, and at the horn for diverse horrible offences. Fire and sword 
were denounced against the harbourers of the clan. Power was given to convocate 
the lieges of Breadalbane and the neighbouring districts to follow up the pursuit, 
and the surrounding noblemen and barons were commanded, under penalties, to 
aid Sir Duncan. It had been twice experienced by the Campbells that the 
expedient of making the MacGregors forswear and upgive their chief by bonds 
completely failed to gain their fidelity, or to make them true vassals of the 
Campbells. In this Commission, therefore, the system was condemned by the 
supreme authority. The bonds of maintenance subsisting between Sir Duncan 
Campbell and the principals of the Clan Gregor were cancelled, and all such 
engagements forbidden for the future. With such ample powers Glenorchy was 
yet far from being master of Clan Alpin's fate. He and his truculent cousin, the 
Laird of Lawers, chased the MacGregors, it is true, from Breadalbane, surprised 
and slew some, and made others prisoners ; but the great body escaped into 

238 THE "RED &> WHITE" BOOK OF MENZIES. [a.d. 1590. 

districts where, notwithstanding the royal authority, he did not dare follow them. 
Moved by relationship and hereditary fosterage, Sir Alexander Menzies connived 
at the flight of the fugitives to Rannoch. Argyle also, who found the Clan Gregor 
very useful in prosecuting, with safety to himself, his bloody feuds against his 
enemies, did not wish such hearty success to his kinsman Glenorchy, as to shut up 
absolutely the passes of the West against their escape. — Lairds of Gle7ilyon, by 
M. Campbell, p. 198. 

The scheme for the extermination of the MacGregors by the Campbells 
of Glenorchy was, however, defeated by the action of the Menzies' and other 
powerful clans, who, out of sympathy for them, gave them whatever protection 
they possibly could, particularly Sir Alexander Menzies of that Ilk, who was a 
blood-relation of the MacGregors, who had been his ancestors' kindly tenants in 
Belloch, Roro, Glenlyon, and Rannoch. Duncan Campbell of Glenorchy, finding 
that his bloodthirsty endeavours to root out the MacGregors was thus defeated, 
applied to the King and Privy Council, in which two of the Clan Menzies (James 
Menzies and Alexander Menzies, brothers-in-law to Robertson of Fasclay) were 
charged with protecting the MacGregors. Here is the charge : — 

"James VI. 

"1590, Nov. 2nd. Holyroodhouse. Complaint by Sir Duncane Campbell of 
Glenurquhy, as follows : — The execution of the commission granted to him for 
pursuit and punishment of the Clan Gregour (ante, p. 509) is greatly retarded by 
the reset of the said rebels at all times within the countries of Ergyle and Athoill, 
'be the oversicht, allowance, and permissioun of the curatouris of the Erll of 
Ergyle, and of the speciall baronis and gentilemen of the cuntrey of Athoill, 
quhairupoun the saidis Clan Geregour ar encourageit to committ all kynd of 
mischeiff and slauchter upoun the said complenair, and his freindis, assistaris with 
him in the executioun of the said commissioun.' There had been such reset of 
them in the country of Ergyle, where they were pursued by the complainer, in 
July last, ' and now laitlie, in the moneth of Augest, they have shamefullie 
murdreist and slane ane man of the Laird of Laweris, three men of the Laird 
of Glenlyoun, and ane boy of the said complenaris aune, besydis the barbarous 
hocheing of ky and oxin, sorning and wracking of the landis of Auchnafree, 
pertening to the said Laird of Laweris. Efter the quhilk murthour, the said 
complenar, having directit ane cumpany of his speciall freindis and uthers, in the 
begynning of August last, to the bounds of Rannoch, for apprehensioun of ane 
noumer of the said Clan Gregour, denuncit rebellis and at the home, the said Clan 
Gregour, being advertissit of their cuming, fled, with their wyrfls, bairniss, and 
guidis, to the cuntrey of Athoill and to the place of the Blair, being the said Erllis 
princepall duellinghouse, quhair they were nocht onlie ressett be the baronis and 


gentilemen of the cuntrey, bot the same baronis and gentilmen, assisted with xxiiii 
personis of the said Clan Gregour, maist cruellie invadit and perseuit the said 
complenaris saidis freindis with all kynd of extremitie, and as yit fortifeis, inter- 
tenyis and sufferis the said Clan Gregour to remane within the said cuntrey, 
quhairthrow the executioun of the said commission is altogidder frustrat.' Charge 
had been duly given, under pain of rebellion, to Johnne Stewart Neilsoun in the 
Fos, Johnne Stewart M'Andro there, George Leslie, bailie of Athole, Stewart of 
Bonscuib, Robert Stewart in Fascastell, Alexander M'Intoshe in Terreny, Duncane 
Robertsoun, Robert Stewart M'Andro in Fos, Johnne Stewart and Neil Stewart, 
Johnne Stewart M'Andrais son, Alexander Robertsoun, apperent of Fascalye, 
Johnne and Alexander Menzeissis, his brothers-in-law, to appear personally, and 
also to represent the following rebels before the Council, that order might be taken 
with them according to the general band — viz. (here follows a list of MacGregors 
and others), these not appearing the Lordis ordain them to be denounced." — Acts 
Par., Scot., p. 541, vol. iv. 

Black Duncan Campbell of Glenurchy, by his action of the 2nd November 
1590, brought all who had assisted or sheltered the MacGregors under penalties, for 
which they were to find caution. By an Act of Parliament, 16th Dec. 1590, for 
protecting the MacGregors, we find Chief Sir Alexander the Menzies of that Ilk 
bound in ,£5000, and Chieftain Robert Menzies of Comrie (Baron Comerye) bound 
in .£2000, with a roll of other Highland chiefs. We give the record of this Act, 
which reads : — 

" Holyroodhouse, 16th Dec. 1590. James VI. By the Act of Parliament 
passed in July 1587 (Acts iii., 461-467) all landlords and bailies on the Borders 
and in the Highlands, on whose lands broken men dwell, are required to find 
sufficient sureties, within 15 days after being charged, under pain of rebellion, that 
they, and all for whom they are bound to answer by the general band, shall keep 
good rule in the country, and also that they shall make themselves and their men 
answerable to justice. Accordingly, the following persons are ordered to find 
caution to the effect foresaid, in the sums aftermentioned, within 15 days after 
the charge, under pain of rebellion, viz. : — Lauchlane M'Yntosche of Dunnachten, 
in .£10,000; Colene M'Kenzie of Kintale, in 20,000 merks ; Mr Hector Monro, of 
Fowles, in 10,000 merks; Alexander Ros of Balnagowne, in £10,000; Torquile 
M'Cloyd of the Lewis, in £10,000 ; Alexander Chesholme of Cummer, in £2000; 
James MakConile Glas, in 5000 merks ; Angus Williamssoun, in 5000 merks ; 
Thomas Stewart of Grantully, in £5000 ; Donald Robertson of Strowane, in 
£5000 ; Alexander Menzies of that Ilk, in £5000 ; Johnne Tarlochsoune, 
in £2000 ; George Robertsoun of Fastcalzie, in £3000 ; Baron Fergusoun, in 
£3000 ; Baron Comerye (Robert Menzies) in £2000 ; " and many others. — Acts 
Par., Scot., p. 802, vol. iii. 

2 4 o THE "RED cV= WHITE" BOOK OF MENZIES. [a.d. 1590-1591. 

Following on the Act causing the Highland Chiefs to find caution in certain 
sums of money for the peace of the Highlands, a general roll of the clans was 
made up. In this Parliament Roll the Menzies' are mentioned as of Athole and 
Apnadull. The complete Roll from the Parliamentary records reads : — 

"Roll of Clans (Highlands and Isles), 1590. 

" Buchannanis ; Makfarlanis of Arroquhar ; Maknabbis ; Gramhames of 
Menteith ; Stewartis of Buquhidder ; Clan Gregour ; Clan Lauren ; Campbellis of 
Lochnell ; Campbellis of Innerraw ; Clan Douill of Lome ; Stewartis of Lome 
or of the Appin ; Clan M'Kayne (of) Abricht ; Stewartis of Athole and adjacent ; 
Clan Donoquhy in Athole and parts adjacent ; Menyeissis IN Athole and 
APNADULL ; Clan M'Thomas in Glensche ; Fergussonis ; Spaldingis ; M'Yntosches 
in Athole ; Clan Chamroun ; Clan Rannald in Lochaber ; Clan Rannald of 
Knoydert, Moydert, and Glengarey ; Clan Lewd of Lewis ; Clan Lewd of Harrey ; 
Clan Neill ; Clan Kynnoun ; Clan Ieane ; Clan Chattan ; Fraseris ; Clan Kauye ; 
Clan Andreis ; Monrois ; Murris in Sutherland." — Acts of Parliament, p. 782, vol. iii. 

Chief Sir Alexander the Menzies, with Chieftain Robert Menzies of Comrie, 
the following year, appeared before Parliament and found caution in ,£1000. 
This bond was signed by parties at Castle Menzies, 25th September 1591, 
presented and registered at Edinburgh, 25th November 1591, and is thus recorded 
in the Parliamentary records : — 

" 1 591, 25th Nov., Edinburgh — By Alexander Menzies of that Ilk for himself, 
and James Betoun, fiar of Melgund, and Robert Menzies of Cunrye, as sureties 
for him, in .£1000, that he shall not only ' hald hand that no maner of sornar, 
oppressoure, committers of ony cruell attemptis,' shall pass through any bounds 
which he has power over, but shall pursue the said malefactors to the uttermost 
of his power, conform to the Act of Secret Council ordaining all inhabitants 
within the bounds of Athole, Straardill, Glensche, etc. to find caution before the 
27th instant that none of them should reset the said offenders, or suffer them to 
resort through their lands (Adam Menzeis, servitor to George, Earl of Huntly, 
as procurator for the parties, presenting for registration the band, which is 
subiscribed at Menzeis, 25 Sept. before the said procurator, Robert Menzeis of 
Snaip, Johnne Menzeis, parson of Weyme, — Johnne Menzeis, notary - public, 
subscribing for Robert Menzeis of Comrie)." — Acts of Parliament, 1591, vol. iii. 

This was only one of the items which the Menzies' had to suffer for sheltering 
Clan Gregor on their lands, and but for such sacrifices they must eventually have 
been exterminated by the Campbells. 

Sir Alexander the Menzies, in 1591, got a new charter to the Menzies barony 
and lands of Rannoch ; the islands and lochs of Rannoch, Errocht, and the 
surrounding country ; the forests and woods of the Rannoch country ; the salmon- 

a.d. 1591-1592.] THE POET LAUREATE OF CLAN MENZIES. 241 

fishings and every class of fish ; the castles and forts of the surrounding district. 
Specially, the charter refers to the erudition of Sir Alexander, and gives him power 
of justiciary over the whole country of Rannoch and Menzies. The patronship 
of the parish of Rannoch empowered him to appoint a Protestant minister or vicar 
to preach the Evangelistic Christian religion to the people, and refers to his own 
services in the furthering of the cause of the Reformed religion. It also refers to 
" The Honourable " life of his " lamented " father, the good Chief James the Menzies, 
and in a word restores the whole barony of Menzies to him, including the whole 
lands of Loch Tay, which the then late Colin Campbell had set up a claim for on 
the plea of nonentries of heirs, showing the Campbells to be still feu-farm tenants, 
paying a rental of one-twelfth. The charter reads : — 

" a.d. 1 591. King James VI. confirms to ' Alexander Menzeis ' of Menzies, 
and heritably to heirs-male, whatsomever of the surname and arms of ' Menzeis ' 
by blood, the lands and barony of ' Rannoch,' viz., the lands of ' Downane, 
Kinlauchte,' the two ' Cammysirochtis, Ardlarach, Kilquhonane, Larane, Ardlair, 
Laragane ' ; the islands of Loch Rannoch ; the lochs of Rannoch and ' Trochtie ' ; 
and all other lochs and islands of the said lands, with the woods and forests 
in those parts, and fishings both of salmon and every kind of fish living therein, 
&c, extending in all to 20 lib. land, with castles and fortifications within the same 
lands and district, in the shire of ' Perth ' ; which the same Alexander resigned 
unto the king. And now regiven wholly to said Alexander, for knowledge and 
the good affection to his lamented predecessor and himself, a propagator of the 
Gospel, and for to plant supreme worship and expounding within the said barony, 
the calling or appointing of the rector and vicar to the church of the parish of 
Rannoch, of which said Alexander is constituted patron. And for his good 
learning, said Alexander has power of justiciary, &c, all incorporated in the 
free barony of Rannoch ; and spreading thereby the cultivation in ' Kilquhonnane ' 
of grain, chiefly to be cultivated on same : — Discharged 30 lib. in full possession ; 
and also the king gives hereby, with good reason, the country and barony of 
Menzies." — Reg. Great Seal, 1987. 

Sir Alexander the Menzies, having got hold of one of the caterans who had 
been making so much trouble in the country, sent word to King James VI., who 
forwarded the following order : — 

" Order from King James the Sixth to Alexander Menzies of that Ilk and 
his baillie to stay proceedings against Donald Schairpe for crimes of theft. 
Dated at Tullybardin, 1 January 1592." — Charter Room, Castle Menzies, No. 47. 

On 16th January 1592, owing to some apprehensions that harm was intended 
by the Lindsays on the person of Sir Alexander Menzies, they were bound in 
£2000 each to keep the peace towards him by the Lords of the Privy Council. 
Here is the record : — 


242 THE "RED &> WHITE" BOOK OF MENZIES. [a.d. 1592. 

" 1592, Edinburgh, 16th Jan. Johnne Lindsay of Dunrod and James Lokhart, 
elder of Ley, for Johnne Lindsay of Covingtoun and Johnne Lindsay, his son and 
apparent heir, .£2000 each, not to harm Alexander Menzeis of that Ilk." — Reg. 
Prv. Col., p. 579, vol. v. 

Sir Alexander Menzies and Clan Menzies were out with the army of King 
James VI. at the beginning of the year 1592, when the king was obliged to call 
out the army to crush the plots of Earl Bothwell and his confederates. The 
disturbed state of the Highlands demanding his presence at home, he received 
the following permit to return home, which reads as follows : — 

"Licence by King James Sixth to Alexander Menzeis of that Ilk to depart 
home from the host passing north for persuit of certane of our rebellis con- 
spiratouris agains God's trew religioun, our persoun, Croun, and this our realme. 
Dated February 1592." — Charter Room, Castle Menzies, No. 48. 

The power of the Earl of Bothwell having become very strong, he made 
a third attempt to get hold of the king at Dalkeith Palace. Although abortive, 
it re-animated the king and council in their prosecuting of the daring outlaw ; and 
to prevent a general insurrection in his name, all the leading nobles, barons, and 
chiefs were obliged to find caution not to assist him ; among whom was Sir 
Alexander the Menzies, as the following record relates : — 

" 1592, Perth, 22nd April. Caution by Sir Johnne Murray of Tullibardin for 
Sir Thomas Stewart of Grantullie in 5000 merks, and for Johnne Reid of Straloch, 
Walter Reid of Douny, Johnne Fergussoun of Derculie, Allaster Stewart of 
Cultylany, and George Cunnysoun, younger of that Ilk, and by Alexander 
Menzeis of Weyme for Johnne Stewart of Tullypoureis, all in 500 merks each, 
that they shall not reset or intercommune with Francis, sometime Earl Bothnile, 
or his accomplices, or his resetters ; and that they shall not reset or suffer to pass 
through their lands any thieves, sorners, or broken men of the Highlands, or reset 
within their bounds such goods as shall be stolen by such ; and also that they shall 
assist the King's good subjects in following and rescue of goods reft or stolen, and 
for apprehending the malefactors, according to the general band." — Reg. Prv. 
Col, Scot., p. 743, vol. iv. 

After the assassination of the Regent Murray, the Protestant party of Scotland 
were much disgusted at there being no attempt to bring the conspirators and the 
assassin to justice, and their indignation and revenge took the following form : — 

" The Lord Ochiltrie, seeing how these matters were handeled, and how the 
revenge of the murder of the regent Murray by law was neglected, whereupon 
he had stayd all this time, and His Majestie had promised unto him to further that 
matter by law in all rigour. He, seeing no appearance thereof, passes over the water 
to the Earl of Atholl, the Earl of Montrose, M'Kuntofche (Macintosh), Grant, 
Sir Alexander ' Meingeis,' the laird of Weymis of that Ilk, with the haill barronis 



apperteaning upon the house of Atholl, and caused set doun a band in writeing, 
oblegeing them to concur and go forward on all occasions when they should be 
required, or that occasion should offer, for the revenge of that murder ; likewise 
he rode through all his friends on the south side of the Forth, and caused them 
to subscribe the same bond. Wereof, the King hearing, by information of the 
Chanceller Maitland, and at his instigation, moved his Majestie to send for Lord 
Ochiltrie. The King wished to know the reason of the bond, and he was told 
that there seemed no other way to have the murder revenged. This was about 
the 20th April 1592." — Moyzies' Memoirs, p. 92. 

It will be remembered that Murray, as Regent, and Huntly, as " Cock of the 
North" — each anxious for power and office — had been at feud for some time. 
Lord Ochiltree endeavoured to bring both of them together, and so end their 
feud by a reconciliation, had not Huntly enacted the terrible nocturnal tragedy on 
Murray's house of Donibristle, near Aberdour, on the coast of the Firth of Forth, 
where Huntly surrounded the house and set it on fire. The Earl of Moray 
succeeded in bursting through the flames, and escaped to the sea-beach, where 
he was killed by some of Huntly 's Romish party. He was much lamented, and 
his cowardly murder made many nobles, chiefs, and barons sign the above bond 
along with Sir Alexander the Menzies. Many were the songs about the bonnie 
Earl of Moray — we give two verses of one : — 

" Ye Heghlands and ye Lawlands, 
O ! where have yow been ? 
They hae slaine the Earl o' Murray, 
And laid him on the green. 

" He was a braw callant, 

And he rade at the ring ; 
And the bonnie Earl o' Murray, 
O ! he was the Queen's luve." 

These stirring events, and the joining in one band together of Athole, 
Menzies, and others for the revenge of the Regent Murray's death, drew 
Athole and Chief Sir Alexander the Menzies together. Old feuds were ended, 
and a mutual agreement then come to, which is as follows : — 

"Obligation by Alexander Menzies of that Ilk in respect and his predecessors 
Lairds of Weymes of auld have depended upon the Earls of Atholl, whereby he 
binds himself in all time coming from the date thereof to depend on the said Earl 
and his house to fortify and assist by himself, his kin, friends, tenants, and others 
the said Earl, his kin, friends, tenants, &c, in all their actions, causes, quarrels, &c, 
whatsoever. Dated 16 January 1593." — Charter Room, Castle Menzies, No. 185. 

In the following year we find the uncle of Sir Alexander Menzies, also 

named Alexander Menzies, being bound along with others in the sum of 500 

merks each to prevent any harm to Patrick Scott by Gavin Dalzel, who were 

at feud and had applied to the Lords of Privy Council, who ordered them to 

sign a bond of caution, as follows : — 

R 2 

244 THE "RED &> WHITE" BOOK OF MENZIES. [a.d. 1594. 

"'1594, Edinburgh, 24 August. Registration, by Mr Oliver Colte as 
procurator, of band by Alexander Meinzeis of Carmloxis, brother of the late 
James Meinzeis of that Ilk, for Gawin Dalzell of Drumboy,' and list of others, 
all bound in ' 500 merks each, not to harm Patrik Scott of Cambusmicheall, 
Oliver Young, bailie of Perth,' and others." — Reg. Prv. Col., Scot., p. 633, vol. v. 

Owing to the continued and threatening activity of Bothwell and his 
followers, against whom was issued a proclamation forbidding them to approach 
within 10 miles of His Majesty under pain of treason, the king called out a 
number of his loyal Highland clans, of whom was Clan Meinerich, who were 
guard to the king during his stay at Stirling, Linlithgow, and other places, during 
this proclamation. For this service, Chief Sir Alexander the Menzies got 
exemption from the next call of the army, in the following terms : — 

" Licence to Alexander Menzies to remain at home for a month from the 
army summoned to convene on the 28 October instant, stating that he had 
attended upon the King during the whole time of the proclamation. Dated 
at Ferrysoule, October 1594." — Charter Room, Castle Menzies, No. 49. 

During this service it appears that Chief Sir Alexander the Menzies and 
Clan Menzies were at the battle of Glenlivat, fought between the forces of the 
Protestant party, generalled by Argyle, against Huntly and Errol, representing 
the Romish party. Argyle was defeated, with a loss of 700 men, 3rd October 
1594; and it appears that the chief of the Menzies' having kept his clan in good 
discipline during the retreat, he then secured the licence to go home to prevent 
disorders by enemies on the lands of the Menzies'. 

Sir Alexander, owing to a feud between the Menzies' of Foccartoun with the 
Bannatynes, became caution for his clansmen in ,£1000. The record is as 
follows : — 

" 1594, Edinburgh, 21st December. Johnne Menzeis of Foccartoun, and 
Williame Menzeis, his son, principals, ^1000 each, and Alexander Menzeis of 
that Ilk, surety, not to harm William Bannatyne of Corhous, James Weir of 
Blaikwood, William Weir of Stanebyres, George Weir of Grenerig, Johnne 
Bannatyne of Kirkfeild." — Reg. Prv. Col., Scot., p. 641, vol. v. 

In 1594 James VI. passed the Act of Parliament against the Highlanders, 
in which Clan Menzies, " Meinerich," is named. It was brought into force 
principally to suppress the MacGregors, who are therefore mentioned first. It 
reads : — 

" For punishment of theft, reif, oppression, and sorning. — Our Soverane Lord 
and his estaits in Parliament Consider that notwithstanding the sundrie Acts 
made by his hienes and his most noble progenetorrs for punishment of the 
authoris of thift, reif, oppression, and sorning, and masteris and sustenaris of 
theives, yet such has been and partly is the barbarous cruelties and daily 


hardships of the wicked theives and lymmaris of the Clannis and Surnames 
following inhabiting the hielands and Isles. Thay ar to say Clangregor ; Clan 
Farlane ; Clanlawren ; Clandowill ; Clandonochie ; Clanchattane ; Clanchevvill ; 
Clanchamron ; Clanronald in lochaber ; Clanranald in Knoydert, Modert, and 
Glengarie ; Clanleyid of the lewis ; Clanlewid of harriche ; Clandonald, south & 
north ; Clangillane ; Clanayroun ; Clankinnoun ; Clankenzie ; Clanandries ; 
Clanmorgun ; Clangun ; Cheilphale ; and as many broken men of the Surnames 
of Stewartis in Atholl, and Lome, and Balquhidder ; Champbellis ; Grahames in 
Menteith ; Buchannanis ; M'Cawlis ; Galbraithis ; M'Nabbis ; M'nabriches ; 
MENGEIS ; ' fonis,' Fergusons ; Spadingis ; M'intosches in athoill ; M'thomas in 
glensche ; ferquharsonis in bra of Mar ; M'inphersonis ; grantis ; rossis ; fraseris ; 
monrois ; neilsonis ; and others inhabiting the sherfdomes of erygle, bute, 
dumbartane, Striuiling, Perth, Forfar, aberdene, bamf, elgin, forres, name, 
Inverness, and cromartie, Stewarties of Stratherne and menteith, &c. &c. 

" And understanding that this mischeif and shamefull disorder increases, and 
is nurced by the oursight, hounding out, resett, mentainence, and non-punischment 
of the thieves, limmers, and vagabonds, partly by the landlords, masters, and 
baillies of the lands and bounds wher they dewell and resort, and partly through 
the counsells, directions, ressett, and partaking of the Chiftanis, principallis of 
the branches, and householders of the said surnames and ' Clansis ' which beris 
quarrell and seeiks revenge for the leist hurting or slaughter of any of their 
unhappie racess, altho it was by the order of justice or in resquie and following 
of trew mens goods, geir, solten or reft. So that the said Chiftanis, principallis of 
the branches, and householders, worthelie may be estiemated the very authors, 
fosterars, and maintainers of the wicked deeds of the ' Vagabundis ' of thair 
Clannis and Surnames." — Acts of Par., Scot., p. 71, vol. iv. 

Some quarrel or feud between the Laird of Methven Castle and Sir 
Alexander having arisen, he had to find surety for the peace, as follows : — 

" 1595, Edinburgh, 25 March. Alexander Menzeis of Weyme, principal, and 
Williame King of Barrauch, surety, ^"iooo, not to harm Henry Glook at 
Methven Castle."— Reg. Prv. Col, Scot., p. 648, vol. v. 

The above surety was in compliance to a demand by the Lords of Privy 
Council, who were very prompt to put down the quarrels and feuds with which 
Scotland was disturbed. In June, Sir Alexander had to get surety from his 
kinsman, Chieftain John Menzies of Castlehill, near whom he had a feud with 
some of the lairds. We therefore find that he was obliged by the Lords of Privy 
Council to find caution for the peace, which is thus recorded : — 

" 159S, Edinburgh, 12th June. Caution in 5000 merks by Alexander Menzeis 
of that Ilk, as principal, and Johnne Menzeis of Castelhill, Archbald Mackkie 
of Merktoun, Johnne Broun of Cultermanis, as sureties for him, that he and his 

246 THE "RED &> WHITE" BOOK OF MENZIES. [a.d. 1596-1597. 

men shall observe the King's peace, and redress all skaith committed or to be 
committed by them." — Reg. Pro. Col., Scot., p. 737, vol. iii. 

We find the registration of a bond on behalf of Chief Sir Alexander the 
Menzies by Coline Eviot, 15th March 1596, whereby he is bound in 2000 merks 
not to harm a clansman named Adam Menzies, which is thus recorded : — 

" 1596, Edinburgh, 15 Mar. Registeration, by Archibald Boyd as procurator, 
of band by Coline Eviot of Balhoussie for Alexander Menzeis of that Ilk, 2000 
merks, not to harm Adame Menzeis in Boltarhane. Subscribed at Tullibeltane, 
12 March, before William Ros, servitor to the said Coline, Johnne Coult, his 
servant also, Johnne Menzeis, notary-public, Hew Campbell in Murthill, and 
Archibald Campbell." — Reg. Pro. Col., Scot., p. 6yj, vol. v. 

The marriage of Sir Alexander Menzies with the daughter of Duncan 
Campbell of Glenurchy had one good effect, so far that it had put a stop to 
the feud which had gone on so long between the Campbells and the Menzies'. 
The recent defeat of the Earl of Argyle at Glenlivat made the Campbells all the 
more anxious to become friends with Sir Alexander the Menzies. Glenurchy, 
therefore, again submitted to become the follower of Sir Alexander, and we find 
Campbell of Glenurchy subscribing a bond to this effect, as follows : — 

" Bond between Duncan Campbell of Glenurchy, with consent of Colin 
Campbell, his son and heir-apparent," who promises to serve, &c, " Alexander 
Menzies of that Ilk, his son-in-law, who — Excepts the service of Duncan Campbell 
to the Earl of Argyll. Stirling, 20 July 1596." — Charter Room, Castle Menzies, 
No. 186. 

Sir Alexander the Menzies, 17th April 1591, as lord superior, granted a 
charter to his kinsman, John Menzies of Fuird, of the lands of Culter-Mains in 
Lanarkshire, and to heirs descending male of his lawful marriage, for the usual 
Sasine or dues from these lands. We give a translation of this charter : — 

"At Holyrood House, 26 April 1597, James VI. The King confirms a 
charter by Alexander Menzies of Menzies, Lord Weyme, by virtue of letters 
superior, and the right and power of conveying through blood relationship with 
John Menzies, son legitimate by birth, younger of the late James Menzies of Fuird, 
and Jeanne Young, his spouse, the lands with the dewelling-house of Culter-Maynis, 
extending to 50 s. lands in the barony of Culter, shire of Lanark, tenanted by said 
John Menzies and Jean, in conjoint feu-possession, and heritably to males between 
them, lawfully begotten, which failing, to heirs male of said John Menzies, and 
allotment whatsomever of the King, with portion of sasine going to James Menzies 
of Hesbclhill — Witnesses, Walter Stewart, servitore commendatarii of Blantyre, 
John Young, burgess of Edinburgh, Alex. Sympon, notary-public, Pat. Diksoun, 
servant to subscriber, John Menzeis. — Charter subscribed for Samuel Bruce, Robert 
Gardner, scribe, Edinburgh, 17 April 1597." — Reg. Gt. Seal, p. 183. 


In 1598 the first wife of Sir Alexander Menzies died. Her death is com- 
memorated by a sculptured tablet at the back of the Menzies altar, in the Auld 
Kirk o' Weem, with the escutcheon of the Campbells surrounded with a ribbon on 
three sides, with the inscription : — 


Translation: glenorchy, wife of the lord of 



The arms are: — 1st and 4th, grouny of eight pieces; 2nd, a fesse chequy ; yV u 
3rd, a galley, sails furled, oars in action. 

Sir Alexander also had inserted under the facade of the pediment of the 
Menzies altar the marriage arms of Menzies and Campbell marshalled, each 
having their separate supporters and the initials A.M. and M.C. 

In the time of Chief Sir Alexander the Menzies, there was one of the clan 
who was the terror of the whole surrounding country. Many of the bonds of caution 
that Sir Alexander had to find for the good behaviour of his clan were due to this 
one man Donald Menzies, and a band of MacGregors, of which he seems to have 
been the chief or leading spirit. Not only did he commit acts against the enemies 
of the clan, but he even had a tilt at them, as circumstances occurred. In many of 
those daring adventures he had many narrow escapes. On one occasion he was 
hotly pursued up Glenlyon, and when those in close pursuit had almost got hold 
of him, he dashed to the verge of a sharp, jutting precipice overhanging the river 
Lyon, over which he jumped, landing on a rock in the chasm below like a 
cat, and defying his pursuers to follow. This is now called " MacGregor's Leap," 
from he being the chieftain of a band of MacGregors. For a raid perpetrated on 
Sir David Lindsay by him, Sir Alexander Menzies had to appear before the king 
and council, the charge being as follows : — 

" Holyrood House, 25th Jan. Complaint by Sir David Lindesay of Edzell, 
one of the Senators of the College of Justice, that Donald Menzies in the Appin 
of Dow, Donald Darrich Menzies, Alester M'Alester, and his son, tenants 
and servants of Alexander Menzies of that Ilk, chief of that clan, and their 
accomplices, had, in May 1597, stolen from the complainer, furth of his lands of 
Glenesk, sixteen nolt, price of each .£24, and in July following other sixteen nolt 
at ,£24 each, and also in July last sixteen oxen at .£24 each, furth of that part of 
the lands called Glenesk. The said persons will nither make restitution to the 
complainer of the said goods, or payment of the prices thereof; nor will they 
forbear to commit the like theft and oppression in time coming, unless remedy be 
provided, — Charge has been given to the said Alexander (Menzeis), master and 
landlord of the said men, as principal — who is obliged to make them answerable — 
and to Johnne Menzeis of Castlehill, Arthure Makie of Mertoun, and Johnne Menzies 

2 4 § THE a RED & WHITE" BOOK OF MENZIES. [a.d. 15951. 

Broun of Cultermanis, cautioners for him to that effect, to enter them before the 
King and Council, that order might be taken with them ; and now the complainer 
appearing personally, and Alexander Menzeis being also present, but not entering 
the said offenders, the Lords decern him to be denounced rebel." — Reg. Prv. Col. 
Scot., p. 747, 8, vol. v. 

To this decision Sir Alexander the Menzies made the following explanation, 
in the form of a complaint, as follows : — 

"Holyrood House, 25th Jan. 1599. Complaint by Alexander Menzeis of Weyme, 
as follows : — In the month . . . last Donald Menzies, a ' commoun and notorious 
theiff and lymner, and a declarit rebell and fugitive,' had been apprehended by 
complainer in the actual committing of theft, and warded within his place of 
Weyme, ' quhill the commoditie of his tryale had bene offerit.' In these circum- 
stances, Johnne Dow M'Williame, alias M'Gregour, a ' compartiner with him in all 
his thifteous deidis, being informed of the danger quhairin he was,' had ' for 
preventing and disapointing of his tryale,' come at night, ' accompanied with a 
nowmer of his rebellious compliceis, all thevis, sornaris, and lymmeris,' to the said 
place of Weyme, and 'be some secreit practize and policie, he surprisit and tuke 
the place, dang up the durris of the prisone quhairin the said Donald lay for the 
tyme, and frcd him oute of warde.' Both of them had passed to Sir Johnne Murray 
of Tullibardin, knight, ' be quhome thay wer ressett, and his bene intertenyit 
sensyne, as thai ar yit, with him as his houshald, men and servandis, and are 
specialie acknawlegeit be him as twa ordinaris of his houshald and familie.' 
Morover, the said Donald having committed sundro stouths upon the Laird of 
Edzell, the complainer, as alleged Chief and Chieftain of the Clan, is called upon to 
enter him before the King and Council. Wherefor it is necessary that letters be 
executed against the Laird of Tullibardin, as well for the entry of the said Donald 
as for that of Johnne, to underlie trial for their demerits : — The complainer and 
Murray appearing personally, the King, with advice of the Council, assoilzie 
the defender from the entry of the said Donald simpliciter in time coming, but 
ordains him to enter the said Johnne Dow before the Council, upon 22nd February 
next, under pain of horning, because Sir Jonne has confessed that the said Johnne 
Dow was in his house after the day of the Charge given to him for his entry, viz. : 
17th January instant, and had remained with him a certain time thereafter, and 
sua it lay in his poware and possibilitie to have enterit him as required." — Reg. Prv. 
Col., Scot., p. 518, vol. viii. 

The danger in allowing such a daring outlaw as Donald Menzies, and his band 
of MacGregors to be free, and the prison-house in the village of Weem not being 
strong enough to hold him, the King gave power of Justiciary to Sir Alexander to 
enable him to give instant judgment against such. The chiefs power is given by 
the following : — 

a.d. 1599-1600.] THE POET LAUREATE OF CLAN MENZIES. 249 

" Letter of Justiciary by King James the Sixth, under the signet, to Alexander 
Menzeis of Weyme, for the trial of sundry theives, to wit, Donald Menzeis and 
Finla M'Robert, who had been already apprehended, and Alester Clerksoun, after he 
had been apprehended ; all crimes of theft, open reif, hership and oppression, and 
to punish them as their crimes deserved. Falkland, 3 1 July 1 599."- — Charter Room, 
Castle Menzies, No. 50. 

The King's Commission of Justiciary with power of life and death, thus 
conferred on Sir Alexander the Menzies, forced upon him duties rather unpleasant 
to such a refined and sensitive nature. He therefore appears to have written the 
king describing his feelings, in answer to which he received a letter from King 
James VI. remitting all the slaughter, &c, necessary through pursuing the 
caterans that had so defied the law. This letter is as follows : — 

" Letter by King James the Sixth, for a remission under the privy seal to 
Alexander Menzeis of that Ilk and others, narrating that 'the wicked and insolent 
behaviour of the disordourit and brokin men of the Hielandis, quha delytis in na 
thing bot in murthor, slauchter, reif, thift, soirning, and oppressioun, hes mowit and 
sterit vp certane baronis and weill affected gentilmen, luifaris of peace and 
quietnes, to resist be force the invasionis of the said brokin men, quhairupone 
slauchteris, imprisoning, reliving of prisonaris and mony vtheris thingis hes 
happynit and fallin out fra tyme to tyme,' remitting all slaughters, &c, com- 
mitted by the persons named in the King's letter, in resisting the said broken 
men. Dated 1600." — Charter Room, Castle Menzies, No. 51. 

Sir Alexander the Menzies being a Latin scholar had, in the year 1600, 
sculptured on the lintel over the door of St David Menzies' Auld Kirk o' Weem, 
the following Latin inscription : — 



Dividing the Latin inscription in two is sculptured a marriage heraldic shield, 
on which is blazoned the arms of Menzies on the right side (male) ; on the left 
Campbell (female), and the initial letters A.M. (Sir Alexander Menzies), and 
M.C. (Margaret Campbell, his spouse), and the date 1600, commemorating the 
birth of his second son Duncan, afterwards chief. This ancient door, with its 
beautifully carved lintel, is now shut up and almost hid by ivy. 

A raid made by Clan Cameron upon the lands of Glen Almond, where they 
swept the whole district of its cattle, was followed by the Government and those 
who had lost their herds tracing their stock to where they had been sold. In one 
case of this kind Sir Alexander was induced to become cautioner. This led 
to him being summoned before the Privy Council, which is thus recorded : — 

" 1600, Holyroodhouse, 11 March. Action at the instance of Margaret Scott, 

250 THE "RED cV WHITE" BOOK OF MENZIES. [a.d. 1600. 

Lady Carnoch, .... Grahame of Inchebrakie, now her spouse, for his intrest, 
and Andro Malloch of Cairneis, as follows: — Upon the 13th July 1595, Allane 
M'Intuatour Camroun, and Johnne M'intuatour Cameron, ' with a graite nowmer of 
thair compliceis, all thevis, broken men, and sornaris of the Clan Chamroun,' came 
to the lands of Glenalmond and stole furth thereof from the said Margaret 44 kye, 
and from the said Andro 36 kye. And, because the said could get no restitution 
of the same goods by order of justice, they, therefore, according to the power 
granted by the Act of Parliament to subjects sustaining loss by the ' disordourit 
theivs and lymmaris of the Hielandis and Bordouris ' (1587 c. 16, iii. 218) to 
intromit with the goods of any others of the same clan, arrested in the hands of the 
persons underwritten the sums and goods following, belonging to certan of the Clan 
Chamroun : — (1) They arrested in the hands of Alexander Leitch the sum of ,£80, 
for the price of five kye pertaining to the said Clan Chamroun, for payment of 
which to the complainers Patrick Drummond of Milnnab became cautioner. 
(2) They arrested in the hands of Duncan Dow M'Nab and Donald M' Naves 
twelve ' grite ky ' belonging to the same clan, which were sold for 200 merks — ■ 
James Campbell, apparent of Laweris, becoming surety upon 28th Oct. last for 
making the same forthcoming to the said complainers. (3) Upon 30th November 
last they arrested, by David Drummond, messenger, in the hands of Patrik Levage, 
the sum of ^160, as the price of certain kye belonging to the said clan, Sir 
Alexander Menzies of Weyme, upon the day foresaid, becoming surety to the 
same effect. (4) Upon 1 8th August last, the said David Drummond, by virtue of 
His Majesty's letters, arrested in the hands of Johnne Ventoun, skinner, in Perth, 
1 3 horse-load of White Plaids and yarn, and 1 3 horses and mares, estimated at 
20 merks each, belonging to the said clan, especially to ... . Camroun, Laird of 
Glenevais, whose servants were at the taking of the said complainer's gear. But, 
although none of the said clan has offered to make to the complainers any redress for 
their said goods stolen by them in manner foresaid, and therefore the sums of 
money and goods abovewritten, arrested as said is, pertain to the complainers 
according to the said Act of Parliament, yet the aforesaid principals and cautioners 
refuse to deliver the same to them unless compelled. The pursuers appearing by 
Charles Grahame, their procurator ; but the defenders, — viz., Sir Alexander 
Menzies, Campbell, Ventoun, and the Laird of Minab, failing to appear, the King 
and Council decern and ordain the said defenders to pay and deliver to the 
pursuers the sums and goods abovewritten, arrested in their hands." — Reg. Prv. Col, 
Scot., p. 92, 3, vol. vi. 

The Earl of Athole having got into difficuties with the Government, who had 
put him to the " Horn," from which he could not be relaxed unless he found 
sureties for 3000 merks, under these circumstances he approached Sir Alexander, 
and we thus find it recorded that the chief became security for him, as follows : — 

a.d. 1601-1602.] THE POET LAUREATE OF CLAN MENZIES. 251 

" 1601. Alexander Menzeis of that Ilk and William Stewart of Kynnaird for 
Johnne, Earl of Athoill, 3000 merks, to obtain himself relaxed by Whitsunday next 
from all hornings under which he presently lies, or else by that term enter inward 
in Edinburgh Castle." — Reg. Prv. Col. Scot., p. 705, vol. vi. 

The above, therefore, relieved the Earl of Athole for the time being. These 
bounds and the offences for which he was at the horn were to be relieved by 
Whitsunday of the same year, or, if he could not satisfy the Government, he was to 
present himself to be put in ward in the castle of Edinburgh. But instead of doing 
as stipulated, like an honourable man, the Earl of Athole ignored every bond 
and promise. A decree was therefore issued against him and Sir Alexander 
Menzies, with others who had befriended him ; the record of which is : — 

"Edinburgh, 8th July, 1601. Decree against the Earl of Atholl and his sureties 
Alexander Menzies and others. Action at the instance of Sir George Home of 
Spot, treasurer, for His Majesty's interest, as follows : — Although Johne, Earl of 
Athoill, as principal, and Sir Alexander Meinzies of Weyme, and William Stewart 
of Kynnaird, as sureties for him, became bound in .£2000 that the said Earl should 
by Whitsunday last obtain relaxation from all the hornings under which he lay, or 
enter in ward in Edinburgh Castle, yet the said Earl remains still at the horn, — 
(1) at the instance of Hary Stewart of Craigyhall, David Herring, apparent of 
Glescluny, Sir Williame Ruthven of Bandane, and Williame Ruthven, fiar thereof, 
for not relieving them at the hands of Anthonie Bruce, burgess of Striviling, and 
James Curie, burgess of Edinburgh, of the sum of 500 merks, for which they 
became sureties for him ; (2) at the instance of Patrik Grant of Rothiemurcus, for 
not paying him 5000 merks as principal and £60 for expenses, as by a decree obtained 
by the said Patrik's late father against the said Earl ; (3) at the instance of 
Williame Durhame, son and heir of the late Robert Durhame of Grange, for not 
paying him 3500 merks, as by a contract between them. Charge had been given 
to the principal and his shureties to answer ; and now, the Treasurer appearing 
personally, and the defenders by Williame Stewart and Williame Banerman, their 
procurator, the Lords find that the Earl has contravened the said Act, and that he 
and his sureties have therefore incurred the said penalty ; for payment of which to 
the Treasurer letters are to be directed." — Reg. Prv. Col., p. 410, vol. vi. 

Sir James Crichton of Ruthven and tenants having had four kye with calf stolen 
by a party of caterans, they traced part of the kye to one of the clan and tenant of 
Sir Alexander the Menzies, and as he refused to deliver up his kye or to give any 
information where he had got them, the Ruthvens had the chief of the Menzies' 
summoned before the King and Privy Council, recorded as follows : — 

" 1602. Complaint by Sir James Crychtoun of Ruthvcnis, and Alexander 
Crychtoun, his tenant, as follows : — Four years ago, certain thieves and broken 
men came to the complainer's lands and reft from his said tenant four kye with 

252 THE "RED cV WHITE" BOOK OF MENZIES. [a.d. 1602. 

calf. Those goods, or at least part of them, complainer had apprehended in the 

possession of Johne Meinzeis, brother of , and tenant of Sir Alexander 

Meinzeis of Weyme ; and, as the said Johne would neither restore them nor declare 
from whom he had bought them, ' it is very evident that the said Johne is the 
steillar.' As, however, he is a ' brokin hieland man,' complainer can have no 
redress, unless his master, the Laird of Weyme, present him. — The Laird of 
Ruthvenis appearing personally, and the Laird of Weyme by his brother Duncane 
Meinzeis, the Lords ordain the Laird of Weyme to retain so much of the said 
Johne's goods upon his lands as will satisfy this complaint, and to make the same 
forthcoming to the complainer for his payment." — Reg. Prv. Col., Scot., p. 448, 
vol. vi. 

This order of the Council appears to have been carried out by the Chief Sir 
Alexander the Menzies. In revenge, those who had stolen the cattle from the 
Ruthvens threatened them with personal violence. This resulted in bringing the 
chief into more trouble with the Government, who, when these threats were 
represented to them, ordered Sir Alexander Menzies to find caution that they 
should not be harmed. Here is the document, which also shows how clannish the 
Menzies' were, six names of the clan being embodied in it : — 

" Edinburgh, 31st May 1602. James Campbell, fiar of Laweris, and Duncane 
Meinzeis of Enoch, for Sir Alexander Meinzeis of that Ilk, 2000 merks, not to harm 
James Crychtoun of Ruthvenis. The band registered by Mr Olipher Colt, advocate, 
is subscribed at Weme, 18th May, before Johne Meinzeis, Parson of Weme, James 
Meinzeis and Alexander Meinzeis, servitors to the principal, and John Meinzeis, 
notary." — Reg. Prv. Col., Scot., p. 730, vol. vi. 

It would seem, from a letter of the Earl of Argyle, that the chief was very 
kind to the persecuted family of John Menzies, which being looked upon by Argyle 
as a good action, he wrote him somewhat as follows : — 

" 1602, Letter, — Archibald, seventh Earl of Argyle, to Alexander Menzies of 
that Ilk. Inverary, penult June 1602. Referring to the honest duty of the laird 
toward John Menzies and his bairns, and craving him to continue in the like form 
towards them in time coming." — Charter Room, Castle Mensies, 72. 

The confusion arising from the feudal law in the Highlands, by which a chief 
or baron of land was responsible for the actions, not only of his clan, but also 
the sub-tenants under them, or others residing on their lands for a short time, 
was the cause of much hardship to the chiefs, chieftains, tacksmen, and better- 
class clansmen. It enabled the Highland robbers to evade the chance of capture 
by simply changing from one chief's land to that of another, as the one could not 
pursue upon the lands of the other to catch them. This state of law in the reign of 
James VI. was at its worst. Owing to it we have a long series of cases, in which 
the chief and chieftains of Clan Menzies were involved, while they show the Chief 


Sir Alexander the Menzies anxious for the peace of the Highlands, and particularly 
of his own country ; nevertheless, he is constantly defeated in his aims by the bad 
working of this law, which did far more harm than good to the Highlands and 
Highlanders. In this way Sir Alexander got involved with Shaw of" Petmurthlie," 
and others, who raised an action against Sir Alexander Menzies. Some of the 
MacGregor tenants on his lands had carried off " 18 oxen, 26 kye, 10 stirks, and 
120 sheep," from the lands of Shaw. Sir Alexander being summoned to appear 
before the King and Council, sent his brother Duncan Menzies to act for him. 
Here is the record of the proceedings : — 

" 1602, Edinburgh, 13th July. Complaint given in by Mr William Schaw of 

Petmurthlie against Duncan M'llleachallum, V'Ewin, M'Steme, widow, 

Alester Gar and Ewin M'lllevie, tenants and servants of Alexander Menzies of 
that Ilk ; and against Johne Moir M'Inkeir, in Finyart, in Rannoch, Johne Org 
M'Inkeir there, Alester M'Kinlay M'Robert, James M'Ewin Verich, in Canveron, 
Donochy Dow M'Inreoch, tenants of Robert Robertson of Strowane ; and against 
Duncan Duff, brother of David M'Duff, Baron Fandowy, bearing that the said 
persons, by the convoy of the said Duncan Duff, came to the lands of Pitmurthlie 
in 1596, and spuilyied eighteen oxen, price of each ;£ 16, twenty-six kye, price of 
each 20 merks, ten stirks at 10 merks each, and six score sheep at 53s. 4d. each. 
Charge had been given to the said landlords to enter their men complained of, and 
also to Baron Muling ' of his awin consent ' ; and now, the pursuer appearing by 
Johne Schaw, his son, and ' Sir Alexander ' Menzeis appearing by Duncan Menzeis, 
his brother, but Baron Muling, Baron Fandowy, and Robertstoun, neither appearing 
nor having entered their accused men, the Lords ordain the defenders to deliver to 
the complainer the said goods or their value." — Reg. Prv. Col. Scot., p. 414, vol. vi. 

Sir Alexander Menzies met this complaint by a counter-charge, which in its 
essence showed up the unfair working of the law. The chief's brother, Chieftain 
Duncan Menzies, who appeared personally, thus put the matter to the Council : — 

" 1602, Edinburgh, 13th July. Complaint of Duncan Meinzeis, brother of Sir 
Alexander Meinzeis of Weyme, as follows : — He had been ordained by the King 
and Council to enter before them upon 13th June last certan of the Clan Gregour 
and others dwelling in Rora, alleged to be his men. Now, the said persons are not 
complainer's men, but are sub-tacksmen to ... , son of the late Geir M'Condochy, 
his tenant, and were placed on the said lands without complainer's knowledge by 
M'Neill in Farnoll, Duncane M'Allaster there, Johne Dow M'Allaster there, and 
Duncane M'Eane Cam, in Fothirgill, tutors to the said .... As the complainer is 
not able to make these persons answerable, he ought to have his relief against the 
said son of the late M'Condochy and his tutors. Charge has been given to Robert 
Robertsoun of Strowane, as master and landlord of the first three of the said tutors, 
to enter them this day to answer ; and now, the pursuer appearing, but Robertsoun 

254 THE "RED &» WHITE" BOOK OF MENZIES. [a.d. 1602. 

neither appearing nor having entered the said persons, the order is to denounce 
Robertsoun ' rebel' " 

Then, simultaneous with the foregoing charge, another was lodged before the 
King and Council against the Chief of the Menzies'. A MacGregor, said to be a 
servant on his lands, for stealing 5 ' kye ' with calf, and the theft of five mares 
with foal. The details of the charge against The Menzies' for this MacGregor's 
acts of theft and cattle-lifting are thus set forth : — 

" 1602, July 13th. — Complaint (1) by William M'Ulemull in G/enberatne, and 
Patrik M'Colekane there, that, four years go, Johnne M'lllechallum M'Eane 
MacGregour, servitor to Alexander Menzeis of that Ilk, spuilyied from them five 
kye with calf, worth ^20 each ; (2) by the said William, that Duncane M'Ewin 
Wane, servitor to Robert Robertsoun of Strowane, spuilyied from him five years 
ago five mares with foal, worth £20 each. Charge had been given to Menzeis to 
enter his said servator, and now, the pursuers appearing personally, and Sir 
Alexander Menzeis by his brother Duncan Menzeis, the Lords descern the Laird 
of Menzeis to restore the goods above written, or else pay their value." 

Along with the above another charge was brought against the captain of Clan 
Menzies, Duncan Menzies, the chief's brother, as follows : — 

" 1602, July 13th. — Complaint by William Dow in Little Tullybeltane, that in 
June 1596 Duncan M'Ewin in Culdarie, had reft from him three mares worth 20 
merks each, an ox worth 20 merks, and two kye worth 20 merks each. Charge 
had been given to Duncan Menzeis, brother of Alexander Menzeis of that Ilk, to 
enter M'Ewin this day ; and now, the pursuer appearing by Johnne Douglas in 
Logayalmonth, and Duncan Menzeis appearing for himself, the Lords discern 
Duncan Menzeis to make redress for his said goods, having his relief against 
M'Ewin. — Reg. Prv. Col., p. 41 3-1 5-16, vol. vi. 

From the foregoing it will be seen that there was gross injustice in the 
working of the law, and this was at the root of all the troubles of the Highlands. 
By this we see Duncan Menzies — who as next brother to the chief, was captain of 
Clan Menzies — made to pay the penalty which should have been put upon M'Ewin 
MacGregor direct by the Government. 

The lands of Rorow had for tenants for many generations a sept of Mac- 
Gregors, connected to the Menzies'. These MacGregors again and again got into 
trouble for lifting cattle. Their Menzies benefactors had to answer for these, as in 
the following case : — 

" Action against Duncan Menzeis for Spuilyie by the MacGregors. 

" 1602. Complaint by Duncan Oig M'Arthure and Johnne Dow M'Arthure 
in Dertullich, that there were stolen from them out of Dartullich, upon 28th June 
1599, three kye with calf and ox, worth ^80, by the Clan Gregour in Rorow, 
dwelling there under Duncan Menzeis, brother of Alexander Meynzlis of Weme." 


The same band with some others had also gone to the Strathurd, and there 
attacked John Leilman, whom they almost killed, and carried off a large quantity 
of linen and money amounting to £183. Part of it being traced as resetted to a 
tenant of Sir Alexander Menzies, he was summoned, as follows, before the King 
and Council : — 

" 1602. Complaint by Johne Leilman in Strathurd, and Jonet Watsoun, his 
spouse, that, in August 1600, certain broken men, having wounded Leilman and left 
him for dead, stole from them linen and woollen cloth, with their habiliments, the 
whole insight of their house, and ,£40 in money, worth in all .£183. The said goods 

were resetted by Makkeis, ' browster,' dwelling under Alexander Menzeis of 

Weyme. — The pursuer appearing personally, and Menzeis of that Ilk, by Duncan his 
brother, the Lords decern Menzeis to satisfy pursuer, he having his relief as effeirs." 

Thus we see that for every misdeed of a tenant the chief had to suffer. 
Another of the MacGregors, John M'Gibbon, having stolen 3 kye with calf and 
3 oxen, Sir Alexander was again summoned before the Council, with the following 
unjust judgment recorded against him : — 

" 1602. Alexander Meinzeis of Weyme, had been charged to enter Johne 
M'Gibboun, his man, to answer a complaint by Robert Hendersoun in Byres of 
Murthlie, touching the reiving from him of three kye with calf, and three oxen, 
worth £20 each. The complainer appearing personally, and the Laird of Weyme 
by his brother Duncan Meinzeis, who has not presented the said Johne, the Lords 
ordain the said Alexander to restore the said goods, or else pay £20 for each 
of them." 

Sir Alexander the Menzies was again summoned before the King and 
Council, and on producing the delinquent — a Campbell — the Council, strange to say, 
discharged the offender on his swearing that he was innocent. The record is as 
follows : — 

" 1602. Charge had been given to Alexander Meinzeis of Weyme, to enter 
Johne Campbell, his man, to answer a complaint by Allester M'Duffy in Berryhill, 
touching the reif from him of two mares with their followers, worth £^0 each. 
The pursuer appears personally, Meinzeis by his brother Duncane, who enters 
Campbell. The Lords assoilzie Campbell on his great oath that the charge is not 
true." — Reg. Prv. Col., p. 417-447-463, vol. vi. 

It cannot be a matter of much surprise, after reading these examples of 
injustice and misrule, that the Highlands were in such a state of disorder, and that 
it was a matter of impossibility to punish these broken men as they deserved, on 
the one hand ; and, on the other, it was enough to foster the spirit of rebellion 
among the chiefs. 

Donald Menzies, the leader and chief of the MacGregor band of freebooters, 
got the chief into great difficulties with the King and Council, who bound Sir 

256 THE "RED &> WHITE" BOOK OF MENZIES. [a.d. 1602-1603. 

Alexander Menzies to capture Donald, or to restore, among others, the six oxen 
and five kye lifted from Chalmer of Colquhet. Sir Alexander having failed in 
every effort to capture Donald Roy Meinerich of the Highland caterans, 
had recourse to the only way left of making good what had been lifted. 
That was by getting the brother of the daring Donald, James Menzies, who was a 
most respectable farmer at Dalguis, to relieve the chief from the decree and 
warrant obtained by the Chalmers against him. This James Menzies agreed to, 
and became caution for the chief. The case came up for final settlement at 
Dunkeld, the extract record of which is as follows : — 

"Edinburgh, 15 Nov. Mr James Stewart, commissary of Dunkeld, for James 
Meinzeis in Dalguis, to warrant and relieve Alexander Meinzeis of Weme of a 
decree obtained against him at the instance of William Chalmer of Colquhat for 
restitution of six oxen and five kye, alleged to have been stolen by Donald 
Meinzeis, brother to the said James, and for whom the said James isalleged to 
have become cautioner to the said Laird, in case after trial of the verity it be found 
that he ought to do so." — Reg. Prv. Col. Scot, p. 766, vol. vi. 

The twelfth part of the annual rent value due by the Breadalbin Campbells 
from the Menzies' lands on Loch Tay, of Morenish, Caranich, and Handknok, to the 
Chiefs Menzies of Menzies not having been paid for a long period, they had been 
allowed to accumulate to 28,000 merks. These arrears were paid by Glenurchy 
in one sum, according to the Black Book of Taymoutli, which has this entry : — 

" Item given for the tuelf markland of Cranniche. The twentie-pund land of 
Moirinche. The ten markland of Auchmoir, and the tua markland of Handknok, 
to the Laird of Weme, eight and twentie thousand marks — anno 1602." 

This feu-rent had been allowed to stand from the time when Campbell had 
raised the claim of non-entries of heirs, it having been kept back owing to the 
disturbed state of the Highlands, and now paid under the firm laws of King 
James VI. ; thereafter to pay to the Menzies' of Menzies their feu-rents as before, 
of one-twelfth of the yearly income, produce, and rental from these lands. 

One of the near relations of Sir Alexander the Menzies was Adam Menzies 
of Ballechin, an old portion of the Menzies' estates, joining Logierait near 
Ballinluig, to whom the chief, as lord-superior of the Menzies' lands in Dumfries- 
shire and Lanarkshire, also gave by feu-charter a considerable portion of the lands 
and Menzies castle of Enouch, with a large stretch of the mains or meadows of 
Enouch, in the valley lying at the base of the Durrisdeer Hills, and also part of 
the barony of Coulter. We herewith give a translation of this charter : — 

" At Edinburgh, 8 Sept. 1603, James VI. The King concedes to Adam 
Meinzeis of Balloquhane, and heritably to his heirs and successors whatsoever, 
the 7-merk land of Ennoch, the 2-merk land of Holstane, 2-merk land of Clawfurtis, 
and the 3-merk land of the mains of Enoche, with fortress, mansion, forrests, 

A.D. 1603.] 



rivers, trees, fishings, and dwelling-houses, &c, within the barony of Menzeis, 
for annexation, shire of Dumfries, with half the lands of Culter, within the same 
barony, for annexation, in shire of Lanerk, with feu-rent to Alexander Meinzeis of 
Menzeis, the royal holder, for service, ward, and royal obedience, therefore to 
alienate the principal part of said barony without licence of the King, discharge 
service of ward, &c." — Reg. Gt. Seal, 37. 

Not long after the death of Sir Alexander the Menzies' first wife, in 1598, 
the chief married a second time, Elizabeth Forrester, daughter of Sir John 
Forrester of Garden, by his spouse Margaret, daughter of John, Earl of Wigton. 
The marriage must have taken place about December 1599. Of this marriage he 
had a son, John Menzies. This son, along with his father, Sir Alexander, had a 
renewal of the charters of the Menzies' estates, in which this John Menzies is 
constituted the heir, and to the heirs of whom whatsoever of the name and surname 
of Menzies lineally descending, the estates of Menzies are to go. In it are renewed 
the possession of the lands of Kynnaldy, now KlNNELL, forming part of Glen- 
dochart, at the west end of Loch Tay, in which was 
included the lands of Auchmore. 

Likewise, the lands of Auchillis, the name then given 
to the lands of DRUMMOND Hill, the whole of which 
hill is within the boundary of the lands of Comrie 
and Auchillis. 

On Drummond Hill and lands of Comrie have been 
found many articles of much antiquarian interest, one 
of which is the polished axe of jardete, represented by 
the accompanying illustration. — See Trans. Soc. Antiq., 
Scot., vols, xxiii.-ix., p. 276. 

Also the lands of Femawchtie, now called Fearnan, 
which form the western portion of Drummond Hill, 
with the whole of the north-east end of Loch Tay, 
stretching to the Lawers from Belloch : — The lands of 
Duncrosk, which included the whole of GLENLOCHY ; 
the lands of Roak, now Roras, in Glen Lyon, which 
included the whole glen from near Fearnan and Fort- 
ingall, and included the present lands of Culdares, 
Chesthill, and Meggernie — these lands were again held 
of the chief by Duncan Menzies, his brother, captain 
of the clan, who held Meggernie Castle as a place of 
strength during these turbulent times—the lands of Aberfelcymore, now the town of 
ABERFELDV, and which stretch east to Grandtully ; the lands of Aberfeldybeg— 
these lie south and west of the present town, and marched with Bolfrax and 


258 THE "RED c> WHITE" BOOK OF MENZIES. [a.d. 1603. 

Stix, also stretching over the hills to Strathbran and Glenquich. These, with 
a list of other lands still held by the chief, are named in the charter of 1603, 
of which we herewith give a translation : — 

"At Holyrood, 28 Feb. 1603, James VI. The King, with consent, &c, 
concedes, and for services given as by his predecessors together of great renown, 
also to constitute as composing a reward, do renew unto Alexander Menzeis of 
Menzies in free possession, and John Menzeis, son, lawfully born, between him and 
Elizabeth Forrester, his wife, begotten and to heirs-male of John, and surname 
and arms of Meinzeis, lineally descending and assigned : — Whatsoemever the 
possession of the lands and barony of Weyme, viz., lands of Weyme, Abirfaldybeg, 
Ardferlemoir, Ferlegar, Rawir, Dalrawir, Glassy, Kynnaldy, Glengolantyne, Comrie, 
Auchillis, Fernawchtie, Duncrosk, with lands of Roak (or Roras), in Glenlyoun, 
with the whole fish, &c, in their rivers and waters ; the patronage of the church 
of Weyme, shire of Perth ; lands adjoining and of Meinzeis-croft in village of 
Kinross, shire of Kinross, of old, with fees, also incorporated into one barony of 
Meinzeis, whose principal residence is the fortress castle and mansion of Weyme, 
or Castell of Meingeis, better named ; and the 20 shilling lands of Eddirrowll, 
4 merk land of Cammyssarny, the markets of Tolichro, and surrounding lands of 
the carse, the 20 shilling land of Nether Newane Colim, for whom Donald M'Queill 
occupied ; the 5 merk land of Tiggermach, 2 merk land of Thometheogle, extending 
in all to £\o of old extent, in the Lordship of Apnadull, shire of Perth ; united as 
of old in one barony of Cammyssarnay, and with the 20 shilling lands of Pettene, 
the 20 shilling from the Sheep of Mewane, the 20 shilling (lands) of Dalmane ; the 
Markets of Sheep at Tolicro ; the 4 merk land of Tullichdullis, before included in 
the said lordship and Sheriffship, with the office of hereditary bailie of said lordship 
of Apnadull, and with possession of the lands of the church and parish of Dull, 
namely, the lands of Croftchlachane, Drumdewane, Kynnetle, with the whole rivers 
and waters of Dull, with his many other privileges renewed to Dull, as before, with 
the whole extent of the mountains of Craigdull, and lands of Auchtavie, with the tenth 
portion of everything within the regality of Saint Andrews, shire of Perth, formerly 
held by the vicars of Dull, limiting the manse and vicar of Dull, with houses, tofts, 
and crofts adjacent, occupied for Menzies by Duncan M'Glagane, with possession of 
buildings of M'Kiltis house, and possession of the late Clerkis house, with pasture ; 
also the 6 high summits and mountains, part of said lands, and CHURCH WITH 
TOMBS, ALTAR, CROSS, REFUGES, PILLAR, and endowments of the same, which same 
Alexander resigned, reserving the free holding, buildings, and lands of Schennachar, 
Ferlegar, Eddirrowl, Cammissarnay, with water of same, markets of Tolichro ; the 
lands of Nether Mewane, Pettene, Sheep of Mewane, Dalmane, and Sheep of Tolichro, 
to said Elizabeth (in liferent), complete conveyance and conjoint possession, as con- 
tained by virtue of contract of marriage before, otherwise, and failing said Elizabeth 


his spouse, to said Alexander for arbitration, the which the King ratifies free and full 
possession to said Alexander as to his predecessors in the above rights, and ' infeo- 
famenta ' for the said Alexander, rights of the lands of Roras, all which surroundings 
thereof, and whatsomever are also his lands (in feu by) Duncan Menzies, his brother- 
german, all as subscribed, incorporated into the free barony of Meinzeis, with free 
forests, through all the bounds of the same : — Providing that no liberty to said John 
during life of Alexander, to estrange or take from said barony in whole or in part, 
and no letting in leases nor pieces or conceding such agreements, said Alexander 
shall not allow such contravention, nor his wife draw out such agreements. To said 
Alexander returns Such possessions discharged, for payment of £6 into church 
and parish burgh of Perth, where on high altar, of such place as written, under 
penalty of 4od. there, authenticate said high nobleness by exhibiting such to the 
deacons' guild of the burgh of Perth, discharged for said barony of Cammyassarnay 
£30, in full possession, and full possession to continue heritably and assigned, for 
Pettene, and over all said office of bailie, £12, 18s. 6d., full possession and duplicate, 
&c, as understood and keeping up castle, mansion, with parks to correspond for said 
lands and church, £6, 13s. 4d., viz., T 9 „ royal, and ^ to vicar of Dull, and duplicate 
as understood for certain wards, &c, with 3 parts for 3 places in the capital of shire of 
Perth, tax ward at not more than 140 lib. yearly payment to 140 lib. 'maritagin,' 
or 1000 merks." — Reg. Gt. Seal, vol. vii., p. 506. 

The services of Sir Alexander were required on many occasions to sit on the 
criminal trials of the times ; thus we find him on the jury for the trial of several 
Highlanders who had "attacked the Laird of Luss whilst armed with a Royal 
Commission to resist the 'cruel enterprises' of the Clan Gregor." Among 
the jurors mentioned on this trial were the Laird of Grandtully, the Chief of 
the Menzies', and Donnach Dhu of Glenurchy. The accused were Patrick Aldoche 
MacGregor, William Macneill, Duncan Pudrache MacGregor, Allaster MacGregor 
Macean. They were found guilty on the 13th Feb. 1604. — Chiefs of the 
Colquhoiins, p. 209. 

From the above it will be seen that Campbell of Glenurchy was often thrown 
in the way of Sir Alexander Menzies through the state of the Highlands. Black 
Duncan Campbell of Glenurchy — having paid up the arrears of feu-rent, bailie's fees, 
&c, due to the Chief Sir Alexander the Menzies, for the lands of Morenish, 
Edramucky, Cranich, Achmore, and Kandknock, representing about a half of Loch 
Tay — thus regained the favour of Sir Alexander Menzies. This friendliness, 
forced by the troubled condition of the Highlands, Black Duncan of Glenurchy lost 
no time in taking advantage of, and thus got a new feu-charter of these Menzies' 
lands in liferent and bailieship, under Sir Alexander Menzies, over Cranich and 
Ardeonaig, of which he was to pay as rental one-twelfth of the annual produce from 
these lands. Here is the grant : — 

S 2 

260 THE "RED cV WHITE" BOOK OF MENZIES. [a.d. 1604. 

"At Edinburgh, 22 Feb. 1604. Confirming charter of Alexander Meinzeis 
of that Ilk, who forced contracts to let for the present, and conveys to D. Duncan 
Campbell of Glenurquhy, knight, in liferent, and to Colin Campbell, his son, 
generally and heritably to his males of the arms and surname of Campbell begotten, 
and the same assigns whatsomever in feu, all (the Menzies') rights undiminished by 
letting the lands of Morinche Edremuke, lands and thanage of Crannyke, also of 
Crannyke, Auckmoir, and Kandknock, with office of Toscheoclidoraschip of Artholony, 
and with manorial fishings in burns, trees of same, in the barony of Weyme, shire 
of Perth. For returning again service of warde, &c, with precept of sasine : — 
Witnesses : James Campbell, feuar of Laweris ; Colin Campbell of Abirurquhill, his 
brother ; M. Olivero Colt, advocate ; James Leslie, his servant ; Thomas Caw, 
notary, burgess of Perth ; M. James Caw, his son. (Signed Chart) at Perth, 
15th Apr. 1602. Menzies, as superior of said lands, can either renew 

thing as rental from the lands. Witness as in other charters. — Reg. Gt. Seal, 
P- 553, Jas. vi. 

The descendants of Black Duncan are the Earls of Breadalbane, who still feu- 
farm these lands, and are apparently entitled to pay the same feu-dues to the Menzies' 
of Menzies — who are still their lords superior — of one-twelfth their annual rental. 

There has always existed the best of friendship between the Macintoshes and 
the Menzies', and this is well exemplified in the time of Sir Alexander Menzies by 
a document in the Charter Room of Castle Menzies, No. 187, "of a bond of friend- 
ship between Lauchlan Mackintosh of Dunnachtan and Alexander Menzies of that 
Ilk — Dunkeld, 8th December 1604." 

This document for mutual and friendly protection, with another of an earlier 
date, are referred to in the book of The Macintoshes and Clan Chattan, in the 
following terms : — 

" The bonds and indentures entered into by Lauchlan during his chief- 
ship are numerous and interesting, amoung which is one from Sir Alexander 
Menzies of that Ilk, 8th Dec. 1604, and another, 30th May 1587." These alliances 
seem to be " offensive and defensive." 

The MacGregors had made the enmity of the Colquhouns of Luss, who having 
captured a few of Clan MacGregor after the battle of Glenfruin, had them tried 
criminally before a jury, of whom Sir Alexander was one. The offence of which 
they were guilty was the slaughter of the Colquhouns, at the battle of Glenfruin, 
near Luss, where the MacGregors killed over 200 Colquhouns. Most of these 
MacGregors were the tenants of Sir Alexander the Menzies on his Rannoch 
estates, from which they had marched all the way to Luss to settle old differences. 
The Laird of Luss, after the battle, sent notice to King James VI. at London, and 
showed His Majesty eleven score bloody shirts belonging to the Colquhouns, who 


had been slain by the MacGregors. King James grew exceedingly incensed at the 
doings of Clan Gregor. They were proclaimed rebels, and all lieges interdicted 
from harbouring or having any communication with them. This, therefore, put Sir 
Alexander Menzies in the worst possible position between the King and his 
MacGregor tenants, and was the cause of him being commanded to suppress them, 
as this letter shows : — 

"Alexander [Earl of Dumfermline], Chancellor, and the Earl of Dunbar, to 
'Sir Alexander Meinzeis,' the Laird of Weyme. Edinburgh, 16th August 1607. — 
This letter narrates : — This proude rebellioun and dissobedyence of the barbarous 
and detestable lymmaris callit the Clangregour, who so long hes contineuit in 
committing of bloode, thift, reiff and oppressioun upon the King's Majesties 
peciable and good subiectis, having most iustlie procurit his Maiesties havie wraith 
and displeasour againe thame, insofar as suche a handfull of miserable catine dar 
presome to continew rebellious, whereas the haill remanent clannis, alsweele of the 
Heylandis as of the Yllis, are become ansuerable and obedyent, &c. The expresses 
his Majesty's resolve to supress the rebels, giveing orders to the Laird of Weem, as 
had also given to the Laird of Glenurchy, Lawers, and others, to assist the Sheriff 
of Perth in its execution." — Charter Room, Castle Menzies, No. 97. 

Duncan Menzies of Comrie, captain of Clan Menzies, and brother of the chief, 
being at feud with Alexander Robertson of Inchmagrnoch, Sir J. Stewart of 
Ballachan, John Robertson of Stralochie, with others, all of whom seem to have 
formed a plot to injure Captain Duncan Menzies of Comrie, who, as a law-abiding 
subject, had them summoned before the Lords of Privy Council, who saw fit to 
bind them down in caution to keep the peace towards Duncan Menzies of Comrie. 
The record is as follows : — 

" Edinburgh, 24 July 1607. Johne of Granich for Alexander Robertsone of 
Inchemagranoch and Sir James Stewart of Ballachan, and the said Alexander for 
the said Johne Stewart and Johne Robertsone of Straloche, 2000 merks each, not to 
harm Duncane Menzeis of Comrie"; and also the following Highland gentlemen 
were bound in like manner — "James Nasmith of Invar, for (Baron) Johne Fergusone 
of Darcullych, 2000 merks, not to harm Duncane Menzeis of Comrie." 

The Robertsons, not confining their inroads and feuds to the Menzies', got into 
trouble with the commendator of Couper, and were again brought before the Council 
and bound to keep the peace — Duncan Menzies of Comrie appearing as a witness. 
It is thus recorded : — 

"Edinburgh, 17th August 1607. Alexander Robertsoun of Fascalyie, for 
Robert Robertsoun of Strouane, 5000 merks, not to harm the commendator of 
Couper. The band — registered by Mr. Alexander Cuming, advocate, and written 
by Hew Mitchell, writer in Perth — is subscribed at Perth, 15th August, before 
Mr James Merser, minister at Logebyrd ; Duncane Menzeis of Conrie ; Patrik 

262 THE "RED 6- WHITE" BOOK OF MENZIES. [a.d. 1608-1609. 

Halden, burgess of Perth ; W. Robertsoun, notary, burgess there, and said writer 

A quarrel having arisen between Stewart of Grantully and Sir William 
Stewart of Strathbran, the former offered to sell back the old Menzies lands of 
Strathbran to the descendant of their former owners, Alexander the Menzies. 
This state of matters being represented to King James VI., he, anxious for the 
peace of the country, wrote to Sir Alexander Menzies the following letter : — 

" Letter by King James Sixth to Sir Alexander Menzies of that Ilk, White- 
hall, 14th Nov. 1608. James R. Trustie and weilbeloved, we greit you weill. 
Vunderstanding that the laird of Garnetully vppon no necessity, but vpon some 
late conceaved grudge against Sir William Stewart of Strathbrane, Knight, our 
servitour, and his appearnd heire, intends to make some sale and disposition of 
parte of his lands vnto yow ; as we know that tyme will worke out the cause of 
that discontentment conceaved by him against our servant, so we would desyre 
yow in the meanewhyle to forbeare anye blockeing or buying of any parte of these 
lands perteyning to the said laird of Garnetully ; wherein yow shall doe vs accept- 
able service. And so we bid yow farewell. From our Pallace of Whitehalle, the 
xiiiith of November 1608." — Charter Room, Castle Menzies, No. 52. 

Sir Alexander Menzies was called upon by the Council to turn out part of 
Clan Menzies armed to capture a section of the Clan Graham. The cause is thus 
narrated in the following from the records : — 

" i6o9,Edinburgh, 14th March. Commission of justiciary against George Graham 
and others. As George Grahame of Rednik, Dougall Grahame, his son and apparent 
heir, and others of the Clan Graham, remain unrelaxed from a horning of 1st 
instant, raised against theme by Coline Campbell of Blairnarne, for not answering 
before the Council touching their coming to his house in King's Boquhapple while 
he was absent in Edinburgh, assaulting his wife, and Marjorie Campbell, his 
daughter natural, and for abducting Margret Campbell, his only lawful daughter 
(anent p. 249), commission under the signet, subscribed by the Chancellor, (the 
Earls) Mar, Caithes, Linlithqw, and Kinghorne, is granted to Archibald, Earl of 
Ergyle, Steward of Menteith, and to his deputes, Coline Campbell of Lundy, . . . 
Campbell of Laweris, Sir Johne Hammiltoun of Lettrik, and (Sir Alexander) Menzeis 
of Weyme, to convocate the lieges in arms, apprehend said persons, and enter 
them before the Council." — R eg. Prv. Col., Scot., vol. viii., p. 261. 

The foregoing gives us a great deal of light as to the lawless condition of the 
country at this period, showing how comparatively helpless the Government was to 
redress wrongs. 

A feud having broke out between Alex. Fleming of Manes, and Sir Alexander 
Menzies of Menzies, and Robert Menzies of Overfaulds, they were summoned 
before the Lords of Secret Council, who, after hearing the cause of the feud, caused 

a.d. 1609-161 1.] THE POET LAUREATE OF CLAN MENZIES. 263 

Sir Alexander Menzies to find caution for 2000 merks, as recorded in the fol- 
lowing extract : — 

" 1609, Edinburgh, 22nd Sept. Duncane Menzeis of Conrie for Alexander 
Menzeis of Weyme, 2000 merks ; and for Robert Menzeis of Overafulds, £500, not 
to harm Alexander Fleming of Manes. The band, registered by Mr David Prymrois, 
advocate, and written by Robert Marshall, writer in Dunkeld, is subscribed at 
Dunkeld, 19 Sept., before Mr James Menzeis, minister of Dull, Johnne M'Neill, his 
servitor, said writer hereof, and Thomas Marshall, notary-public." 

The Council, on the other hand, bound Fleming down by cautioners in .£1000 
to keep the peace on his part, as follows : — 

" 1609, Edinburgh, 25 Nov. Alexander Flemyng of (Beron) Mones, as princi- 
pal, and Alexander Stewart of Boneskeid, as surety, ,£1000, not to harm Alexander 
Menzeis of that Ilk, Robert Innes in Abirfaldy, Duncan Menzeis of Combrie, Mr 
William Menzeis in Dentoun, James Menzeis in Drumdewne, Allaster Menzeis in 
Baliehomes, or Donald Leitche in Donafoull. — Reg. Prv. Col., vol. viii., pp. 709-13. 

Notwithstanding the measures taken by the Council to stop the feud between 
the Menzies and Fleming, Sir Alexander had to get Allaster Menzies and James 
Menzies, tenants and clansmen, who could not be stayed until they were brought 
before the Privy Council, and had to find caution, as the following record shows : — 

" 1610, Edinburgh, 2d Mar. Alexander Menzeis of that Ilk, for Allaster 
Menzeis in Belliehomas, and James Menzeis in Drumdewan, 400 merks each, not to 
harm Alexander Fleming of Monesse." 

A mason, who had been in the employment of Sir Alexander Menzies, having 
committed murder, Sir Alexander applied to the Privy Council for a warrant for his 
apprehension. They put him to the horn, but the mason failing to appear before 
the Council, he was denounced a rebel, which is thus recorded : — 

" 1610, Edinburgh, April. As Johne Stanneris, mason, remains unrelaxed 
from a horning used against him by Alexander Menzeis of that Ilk, as master, and 
by the kin and friends of the late Robert Couper, mason, as well as by Sir Thomas 
Hammiltoun of Bynnie, for his Majesty's intrest, for not finding caution to answer 
before the justice for the cruel slaughter ' with a knyff ' of the said Robert (Couper), 
' thay being in ane hoistler house for the tyme.' Commission — signed by the Chan- 
cellor (Earls) Perth, Linlythqu, Lotheane, Blantyre, Klsyth, and Sir R. Cokburne — is 
given to the sheriffs-principal of Perth and Forfair to apprehend the said rebel, and 
put him to the knowledge of assize and minister justice accordingly." — Reg. Prv. 
Col., vol. viii., p. 721. 

Clan Gregor, through the Campbells, continuing to be a source of great trouble 
to the country, keeping the Highlands in a continual state of excitement, commission 
was issued (14th August 1610) to Sir Alexander Menzies, with others to take 
action against them, and again at Stirling, 31st January 161 1. These acts against 

264 THE "RED cV WHITE" BOOK OF MENZ1ES. [a.d. 1611. 

the MacGregors only led them to reprisals against their pursuers, and Clan Gregor, 
in 1611, having again committed great outrages and devastation on the Campbells 
of Glenurchy and Lawers, these were represented to James VI. in all the high colours 
which only a Campbell could give such events, and resulted in James VI. sending 
Sir Alexander Menzies the following letter : — 

" King James the Sixth to Sir Alexander Menzies, the Laird of Weem. 
Greenwich, 29 April 161 1. James R. Richt traist friend we greit you hartlie 
weill. We haue gevin power and commissioun to the Erll of Ergile to pursew that 
barbarous race of the name of M'Gregour with fire and swerd : and because the 
benefite of thair ouerthraw will redound to yow and suche otheris as ar thair landis- 
lords, who in reasoun ought and sould bear a part of the burdene of this service, we 
haue directit the bearar, the Laird of Lawers, to speil with yow heiranent, and to let 
yow know what cours we wold haue followed heirin : and will thairwithall desire 
yow to be a furtherar of our deseynes in this point, as yow will do ws good seruice 
and report our speciall thanks. And so we bid you hairtlie fairweill. From our 
Court at Greenwitche, the xxix. of April 161 1." — Charter Room, Castle Menzies, 
No. 53. 

Sir Alexander the Menzies acted in the most lenient manner towards the per- 
secuted MacGregors, and as far as he dared saved them. On the other hand, the 
Campbells of Argyle, Glenurchy, Lawers, Glenlyon, and others pursued them with 
merciless severity, and after they had ousted them from their holdings, " a most 
pitiable scramble for the spoil entangled " the Campbells among themselves. — 
Lairds of Glenlyon, by D. Campbell, p. 222. 

The love of adventure engendered within the hearts of the Highlanders made 
the lifting of cattle one of the things which they often did for the sake of the 
exploit, and not from want as may generally be supposed, as the following case of 
Allaster Mengeis indicates : — 

" 161 1, Edinburgh, I ith July. Complaint by William Rattray of Rynnagullane, 
Johnne Tailyeor in Corb, and Johne Beg there, that Allaster Menzeis in Assundow 
remains unrelaxed from a horning of 10th February, for not finding caution to 
answer before the justice for stealing from the land of Corb two horses belonging 
to the said William, a mare belonging to Tailyeour, and another mare belonging to 
Beg. — As thay are Alexander Menzeis of Weymes' tenants, charge had been given 
to their said landlord to enter them ; and now, Rattray appearing for himself and 
the other pursuers, Menzeis, for neither appearing himself nor entering the said 
Allaster, is to be denounced rebel." — Reg. Prv. Col, Scot., vol. ix., p. 213. 

It would appear that Sir Alexander Menzies had not got the summons in 
time to be before the Lords of Council on the I ith, but we find that Duncan Menzies 
of Comrie appeared next day for him, thus recorded : — 

"161 1, 12th Jul}-. Duncane Menzeis of Comrie for Alexander Menzeis of 


Weyme, 1000 merks, to appear before the Council and bring with him Allaster 
Menzeis in Appnadow, in case it be found that he ought to do so, conform to the 
letters raised against him by William Rottray of Rynnagullane, Johne Tailyeour 
in Corb, and Johnne Beg there." — Reg. Prv. Col., Scot., vol. ix., p. 683. 

After the caution being given for the bringing of Alaster Menzies to justice, 
the chief discovered that Alaster was in the service of the Earl of Argyle in 
pursuit of the Clan Gregor. No doubt Argyle thought the best way to capture the 
MacGregors was " to set a thief to catch a thief." Therefore, Sir Alexander 
lodged the following petition to suspend the horning against him : — 

"Edinburgh, 16th August. Complaint by Sir Alexander Menzeis of Weyme 
as follows : — The Lords of Secret Council have, at the instance of William Rottray 
of Rynnagullane, Johne Tailyeour in Corb, and Johnne Beg there, decerned 
horning against Complainer for not entering before the Council, Allaster Menzeis 
in Apnadow, rebel, as being his man. Now, Archibald, Earl of Argyle, having been 
employed by his Highness in the pursuit of the Clan Gregour, and having the 
haill cuntrey people of the Hielands undir his chairge in that present service, 
complainer and all his men are, and must continue during that service on the 
fields, under the said Earl, so that he cannot without great prejudice to that 
service compear to the effect foresaid : Further, by an Act of Council it is ordained 
that, during the time of that service, the persons therein shall be free from all 
compearing before any judicatory of this kingdom. If the complainer had not 
been burdened with this service, he would have willingly compeared, and shown 
that the said Allaster is not his man, but is servant to the Earl of Ergyle, and at 
present with the Earl in the fields against the Clan Gregour. Still, complainer has 
found caution in 100 merks to enter the said Allaster if it be found that he ought 
to do so. On these grounds the said horning ought to be suspended. — Pursuer 
appearing personally, and the defenders by . . . Rattray, eldest son of the said 
William, the Lords do suspend the letters of horning, because the said Allaster is in 
his Majesty's service against the Clan Gregour, as has been verified by a letter 
sent to the complainer from the Earl of Ergyle." — Reg. Prv. Col., Scot., vol. x., 
pp. 242, 3. 

The Earl of Argyle had seen in Allaster Menzies, the type of a daring 
Highlander, who was equal in bravery to the enduring MacGregors, and therefore 
had induced him to leave his own peaceful chief, offering him a good recompense 
for his services. Afterwards, his services were taken up by Glenurchy, who seems 
to have bought from him a sheiling which he had, as the following from the Black 
Book of Taymouth records : — 

" Item — Gevin for the Pendicle and Scheilling of Easter Lcdchrofk to Allaster 
Meinzies, four hundreth pundis, anno (between 161 1 and 1617)." — Black Book of 
Taymouth, p. ^3' 

266 THE "RED 6- WHITE" BOOK OF MENZIES. [a.d. 1611-1613. 

The Earl of Athole having got into trouble with the Government, James VI., 
to prevent the earl making up a band of friends to defeat the purposes of the 
king, ordained Sir Alexander the Menzies and his brother Duncan to find 
caution not to hold intercourse with Athole, as follows : — 

"161 1. Edinburgh, 2nd October. Duncan Menzeis of Comrie for Alexander 
Menzeis of that Ilk, .£500 not to reset or intercommune with the Earl of Athoill, 
conform to the charge to him at the instance of Sir Thomas Hammiltoun, 
Advocate. The bond, registered by Mr Oliver Colt, elder, Advocate, and written 
by Johne Menzeis, Notary, is subscribed at Weme, 30th September, before Mr 
William Menzeis, portioner of Pittinteane, Robert Menzeis in Abirfaldie, James 
Naismyth to the principal, and the said writer hereof." And then in turn Sir 
Alexander becomes surety for his brother, thus : — " Alexander Menzeis of that 
Ilk, for Duncan Menzeis of Comries, 400 merks, no to reset James, Earl of Atholl, 
comform to the charge given by Sir Thomas Hammiltoun, Advocate. The band 
is registered, &c, as above." — Reg. Prv. Col., Scot., vol. ix., p. 688. 

"Edinburgh, 21st November 161 1." Again we find in a list of "com- 
missioners appointed in certain shires and districts for the trial of persons accused 
of resetting, sheltering the Clan Gregor," appears along with a long list of others, 
the name of" Duncane Menzeis of Comrie." — Reg. Prv. Col., Scot, vol. ix., p. 285. 

The Government, having succeeded so far in crushing Clan Gregor, wanted to 
make some capital out of the lands which they had occupied, by levying a charge 
of £60 for every merk-land they had occupied. This is shown by the following : — 

" 16 1 3. Edinburgh, 29 July. In an action against the Earl of Argyle and 
twenty other landlords of the Clan Gregor, for the recovery of £60 for every 
merkland of the MacGregor lands, possessed by them at Whitsunday 1610 — said 
fines alleged to be due to the Crown by voluntary agreement to that effect." 
Defenders (among whom appear the names of " Sir Alexander Menzees of 
Weyme," and " Duncane Menzes, brother to the laird of Weyme "), are assoilzied — 
" and thairfoir the saidis Lordis assoilyees simpliciter the saidis landislordis fra this 
persute and fra the contentis of thir letteris, and decernis thame quyte thairfra in 
tyme comeing." — Reg. Prv. Col, Scot., vol. x., pp. 1 14, 1 15. 

1 61 3. Edinburgh, 24 August. Again, the above are charged to answer for a 
certain contribution out of the MacGregor lands towards his Majesty's expenses in 
suppressing the Clan Gregor, In this list of names appears the name of " Sir 
Alexander Menzees of Weyme, Duncane Menzes, his bruther," and others. — 
Reg. Prv. Col, Scot, vol. x., p. 133. 

To shelter Clan Gregor in those days became a serious offence against the 
Government of James VI.; to give or supply them with anything wherewith to 
sustain life was also an offence of great magnitude, which was punished with heavy 
fines. For this humane offence we find ten of the Clan Menzies, who had shown 


sympathy with the poor MacGregors by giving them shelter and food, condemned 
to pay from ten to one hundred merks, and from .£50 to .£100 each. Clan Menzies 
suffered most of any clan for the MacGregors, which is shown in the following : — 

" 16 1 3. Edinburgh, 15th September. Forsamekle as resettis, shelters, and 
supplie whiche the infamous thevis and lyammairis of the Clangregour hes had in 
divers partis of the cuntrey, being the cheif and principall caus whiche, according 
quhairunto the commissionaris within the schirefdome of Perth, in the courtis of 
tryall haldin be thame within the tolbuith of the burgh of Perth, upoun the twelft, 
threttene, fourtene, fyftene, and sextene dayis of Marche, the yeir of God '"vj c and 
twelf yeiris, And thairfore the saids Lordis hes decernit, adjudgeit, and fynit the 
personis particularlie undirwrittin, and everie ane of thame, in the soumes of 
money following," viz. : — with others, " Alexander Menzeis, sumtyme M'Gregour, 
in the soume of ane hundreth merkis ; Donald Menzeis, brouster in Doule, in the 
soume of ten merkis ; James Menzeis in Drumdevan, in the soume of fiftie poundis ; 
Johnne Dow Menzeis in Tolborie, in the soume of fifty merkis ; Duncane Menzeis, 
maltman, in the soume of ane hundreth poundis ; Johnne Menzeis in Togarniche, 
in the soume of fiftie merkis ; Alexander M'William Menzeis, in the soume of 
ane hundreth merkis." Further on — on the same list — are the names of " Robert 
Menzeis, in the soume of fiftie merkis ; Patrik M'Kinlay Menzeis, in the soume 
of fiftie merkis ; Johnne Menzeis in Wester Comere, in the soume of ane hundreth 
poundis." — Reg. Pro. Co/., Scot., vol. x., pp. 148-50. 

In this the Menzies' suffered more for Clan Gregor than any other clan, between 
them being the ties of kin, both having descended from the royal race of Fergus. 

161 3. 12 November. On the Commission of the Peace for Perthshire and 
the Stewartry of Menteith and Strathern, we find the name of " Sir Alexander 
Menzeis of that Ilk;" and in 1616 he is specially mentioned on the commission for 
the trial of two Highlanders. 

The second wife of Sir Alexander the Menzies died on the 10th of November 
161 3. She was the daughter of Sir John Forrester of Carden, a descendant of Sir 
Duncan Forrester of Carden, King's Comptroller, connected officially with the burgh 
of Stirling. She was buried in the Auld Kirk o' Weem, where her death is com- 
memorated by a sculptured escutcheon at the back of the Menzies Altar, on which 
the Forrester Arms are beautifully sculptured, as sharp in line as when they were 
cut. They are a chevron between three bugles. The shield is surrounded on the 
top and two sides by a riband, with the following Latin inscription cut into it : — 







umi translation: 




268 THE "RED & WHITE" BOOK OF MENZIES. [a.d. 1613-1615. 

To ornament the circular top of the back of the Menzies Altar, under its 
arched roof, Sir Alexander the Menzies had sculptured a circular moulding. In the 
centre of this moulded circle is a cranium ; radiating from it are cross-bones, 
mattocks, spades, scythes, swords, coffins, &c. On the top of the cranium stands a 
sand-glass, and under all are two hands ringing "death bells," with the date — 161 3 — 
of the death of Elizabeth Forrester, his second spouse. 

By this marriage Sir Alexander the Menzies had two sons — John Menzies, 
who is included in the charter of 1 603, and Duncan Menzies, his brother, who 
succeeded to the chiefdom and estates of Menzies. 

After the death of his second wife Sir Alexander married a third time, about 
1614, Marjory Campbell, daughter of Alexander Campbell, Bishop of Brechin. 
The contract of this marriage is in the Charter Room of Castle Menzies. Of this 
last marriage he had seven sons — namely, Alexander, William, Thomas, Robert, 
George, David, and Archibald ; also four daughters, Helen, Grissel, Margaret, 
and Jean. 

The Campbells, having so far built up their possessions, power, and position 
on the ruin of Clan Gregor, Campbell of Lawers wanted to fill his coffers from the 
pockets of the other chiefs and lairds whom he pretended had been benefited by 
his attempt to exterminate the Clan Gregor. He therefore proposed a contribu- 
tion, with authority from the Crown, from a number of chiefs, of whom was Sir 
Alexander the Menzies. The details are thus recorded, showing how the 
Campbells quarrelled among themselves, in the Black Book of Taymouth : — 

" Item — In the month of October, anno 161 5, the Lawers passt up to Londoun, 
and desyrit of his Majestie that he would wreit (write) the Counsall desyiring the 
Counsall to send for the Landlords of the Clangregor that they would grant ane 
contribution of fiftie pund out of the merkland, and his Majestie wald find ane way 
that naine of the Clangregor sould trobill aney of thair landis nor posses thame, bot 
that the Landlords sould bruik thame paceablie ; for Lawers luit his Majestie to 
to understand that, if his highness wald grant him that contrabution, that he sould 
gett all theis turnis satled : wherein trewlie Laweris had nather power nor money 
to do it. The Councill wreit for the Landlords, sic as the Erie of Linlithgow, Sir 
Alexander Meinzeis, the Laird of Weyme, Alexander Schaw of Cambusmoir and 
Knokhill. The rest of the Landlords came not. The Chancellare inquyrit of 
thame that was present, if ' they wald grant to the contrabution,' and likewise all 
yeildit to unless Glenurquhay, who 'said he would not grant thairto, seing his 
Majestie had burdint him to concur with the Earl of Argyle in persewing of the 
Clangregor, because he knew he would get mair skathe be the Clangregor nor all 
the Landlords wald.' Herefter the Counsall merit for the Landlords, and desyrit 
them to pay the contrabution, and his Majestie's will was that it should be givin to 
the Laird of Laweris. Glenurquhay refusit be reassoun that he nevir yeildit to the 

a.d. 1615-1619.] THE POET LAUREATE OF CLAN MEN/JES. 269 

contributioun, and the rest of the Landlords that wes absent the first Counsall day 
that the contribution was granted refusit the contrabutioun in lyk maner. Sua the 
Laird of Lavvers was disapointit of the contrabutioun. Glenurquhay quarrelit the 
Laird of Laweris and his breithreine that he sould have tain the enterpryses in hand 
by his adbyse, for to perturb the Laird of Glenurquhies lands, seeing that (he) wes 
the Laird of Glenurquhies vassell and kinsman cum of his hous, and also his sister's 
sone, and that, when Lawers hous would have wraikitt in Lawers fatheris tyme, the 
Laird of Glenurquhay tuik in his mother, his breithrein, and sisters in his hous, 
and saved the hous of Laweris fra rowein and wraik. — Black Book of Tay- 
mouth, pp. 476-9. 

In the year 1616 a Commission was granted to Sir Alexander Menzies, of 
justiciary to try, pass judgment, and punish thieves which had been captured by 
his men. The Commission runs thus : — 

"For theft. 28 August 1616. Commission under the Signet, signed by 
Chancellor Bining, Sir J. Murray, and Sir [A.] Drummond, is given to Alexander 
Menzeis of that Ilk, heritable bailie of the Lordship of Apnadall ; David, Lord of 
Scone ; and Sir William Stewart of Granetully ; or any two of them, the said Laird 
of Weyme being one, to try Patrik Dow M'Kepna(?) in Apnadaill, and Finla M'Can 
Dowy V'Coneill M'Innes there, tenant of the said Alexander Menzeis, who are 
now in his custody for theft, — the said Patrik having stolen a gray horse and a 
black mare from Johne Archer in Cairco, a brown mare from William Stratgaith in 
Strathurd, and two horses from Strabrane, belonging to the tenants of Sir Williame 
Stewart of Grantullie ; and the said Finla having stolen four horses from the lands 
of Tullibagillis, a brown hackney horse belonging to the Lord of Scone, and three 
sheep belonging to James Mathisoun." — Reg. Pro. Col., vol. x., p. 637. 

In 1617 Sir Alexander the Menzies having married again, it is recorded in the 
Register of Sasines for Perthshire, that he and his spouse, Marjory Campbell, 
obtained a charter from William Murray, second Earl of Tullibardine, of " the 
Mains of Garth, with the castle thereof," in conjunct fee to themselves and their 
heirs. This must have been given up in his right as superior belonging to Sir 
Alexander, and for a discharge of his claims against Garth for the destruction done 
to Castle Menzies, in 1502, by Neil Stewart, for which he held a decree. This also 
included the lands and village of Fortingall. 

The Marquis of Huntly, having had some of his goods stolen by Clan Stewart 
and MacGregor, despatched some of his men after them, who, traced them to 
the lands of Sir Alexander Menzies, and the Marquis sent the chief a letter, the 
substance of which is somewhat as follows : — 

" The Marquis of Huntly to 'his richt speciall cousing' Sir Alexander Meingeis, 
the Laird of Weem, Aboyne, 9 November 1619, requesting him to assist Huntly's 
servant, Norman Leslie, in recovering the 'geire' which had been taken out of 

2 7 o THE "RED 6- WHITE" BOOK OF MENZIES. [a.p. 1619-1638. 

Huntly's land of Strathavin by the Stewarts and some of the ' Glengregorie." 
— Charter Room, Castle Menzies, No. 98. 

Not only did Clan Gregor have severe laws passed against them, but even the 
Gipsies, or, as then called, " Egyptians," were also under similar enactments, as the 
following will show : — 

" Discharge by Alexander Forbes, servitor to the Duke of Lennox, in favour 
of Sir Alexander Menzies of Weem, for resetting of the Egyptians, threatening, 
that in case the like danger should occur again, his whole goods should be confis- 
cated, without any favour to be granted to the King's treasurer or treasurer-depute. 
30 March 1620." — Charter Room, Castle Menzies, No. 213. 

The chief was member of Convention for Perthshire in 1625. 

Age and other ailments having begun to tell on Sir Alexander Menzies, he 
had granted to him a permit to eat flesh meat, which grant is as follows : — 

" Licence by the Privy Council to Sir Alexander Menzeis of Weem, his Lady, 
and such persons as might be at table with them, to eat flesh during Lent and on 
the forbidden days of the week, for the space of a year. — Holyroodhous, 1 1 March 
1628." — Charter Room, Castle Menzies, No. 99. 

The troubles brought on the country by the Reformation, setting clan against 
clan, allowing the Highland caterans to plunder where they would ; and from the 
numerous writs issued for the apprehension of horse-thieves, sheep-stealers, &c, in 
the Charter Room of Castle Menzies, we select the following : — 

" Warrant of justicary under the signet, by King Charles and Lords of Council, 
to Sir Alexander Menzies of that Ilk and Sir James Campbell of Lawers, for the 
trial of and other legal action against Muildonache M'lldoune, then a prisoner in 
the hands of Sir Alexander Menzies, and ' a common notorious theefe, who,' it is 
said, ' hes lived this long tyme byaane upon thift, resset of thift, pylkerie and 
oppression.' Edinburgh, 4 February 1636." — Charter Room, Castle Menzies, 
No. 214. 

In consequence of the inflexible determination of Charles I. to force Episcopacy 
upon the Scottish people, against which the great majority of the Scottish nation 
declared their determination to stand " by the great name of the Lord God " — for 
the purpose of enforcing this he sent the Marquis of Hamilton into Scotland as his 
commissioner, who arrived at Edinburgh, 10th June 1638. It was on this account 
that the Earl of Argyle, the leader of the Covenanting party, hearing of the 
intention of Charles I. to send a commissioner to Scotland, thought it the best 
policy to call a meeting of friends to consider the best course to take. He therefore 
wrote the following letter to Lawers, who, in turn, wrote asking Sir Alexander the 
Menzies to meet him, the substance of the correspondence being as follows : — 
Letter of Archibald, Lord Lome and Earl and Marquis of Argyll. 

" Kendloch, 21 July 1638. Lord Lome desires the Laird of Lawers to be 

a.d. 1638-1639.] THE POET LAUREATE OF CLAN MENZIES. 271 

present at the meeting of his friends, which Lord Lome had appointed to be held 
at Inverary on the 1st of August. 

" [Doroso] A note from James Campbell of Lawers to [the Laird of Weem], 
asking him to come to Lawers to consider whether they should go to this meeting. 

" Lawers had seen letters to the same effect addressed to the Lairds of Glenlyoun 
and Glenurchy." — Charter Room, Castle Menzies. 

This meeting was followed by the assembly at Glasgow in November 163S, 
where Argyle placed himself at the head of the Covenanters, after which both parties 
prepared for war. Argyle convened a meeting at Perth, under the guise of putting 
down the Highland robbers, and wrote Sir Alexander Menzies, the substance being 
is as follows : — 

" Inverary, 13th February 1639. The Earl of Argyle desires Sir Alex. Menzies, 
the Laird of Weem, to meet Argyle and other nobles and gentlemen at Perth, on 
the 14th March, to consult as to means for suppressing the ' Lymmeris and 
brokine men ' of the Highlands. The earl addresses the laird as his ' loveing freind.' " 
— Charter Room, Castle Menzies, Nos. 73, 74, 

It was shortly after this meeting that the king advanced towards the Scottish 
Border to force the Covenanters to submission. But, instead of Charles I., the 
Covenanters commenced hostilities, and about the 19th of March General Leslie, 
with a few men, surprised and without difficulty occupied the Castle of Edinburgh. 
Dumbarton and other castles falling into their hands shortly afterwards, gave them 
a strong hold on the Lowlands. The Marquis of Huntly, however, stood out as the 
champion of Charles in the north, against whom Montrose advanced and took 
possession of Aberdeen, from which he sent a note to Huntly, asking him to come to 
Aberdeen to further a settlement of the disturbances, to which Huntly complied, 
and took up his quarters in the house of his friend, Sir Thomas Menzies of Pitfodels. 
There Huntly was made captive by Montrose and taken to Edinburgh. Many 
skirmishes followed. The whole of Scotland was then arming for a religious war. 
Argyle, anxious to strengthen the cause of the Covenant, and gain over as many 
of the Highland chiefs as possible to his party, urged Sir Alexander the Menzies 
very hard to arm and call out Clan Menzies, and cast his lot on the side of the 
Covenanters. Sir Alexander the Menzies had always been opposed to civil strife ; 
although a Protestant, he declined to imbrue his hands in his country's blood. 
Argyle therefore wrote him in the following terms : — 

" Stirling, 10th June 1639. The Earl of Argyll. The Earl of Argyll again urges 
his ' Loveing freind,' as he addresses Sir Alexander Menzies, the Laird of Weem, 
not to make any delay, but with all diligence to send out his ' folks,' according 
to the order already received." — Letter in Charter Room, Castle Menzies, No. j6. 

The answer to this letter not being satisfactory, Argyle became all the more 
anxious to have Sir Alexander Menzies on his side. He therefore tried another 

272 THE "RED cV WHITE" BOOK OF MENZIES. [a.d. 1639. 

course to get the venerable old chief unguardedly to declare himself for his party. 
By what insinuations he sought this is shown in his letter, as follows : — 

"Stirling, June 4, 1639. The Earl of Argyll in this letter alludes to the 
' mis-reports ' concerning the Laird's unwillingness to stand up for the defence of 
the religioun, crown, and countrie, stating his assurance that he would never suffer 
himself to be ' brandit with such foule aspersiouns,' and earnestly requests him 
to give an example of obedience to the general and Estates of the kingdom." — 
Charter Room, Castle Menzies, No. 75. 

Sir Alexander the Menzies, who was then a very old man, " had learned from 
experience " not to act on the advice of a Campbell without considering the " pros 
and cons " before he acted ; and, being a man of experience, was not to be so easily 
led into the net. 

Argyle, having been commissioned by the Estates to secure the West and 
Central Highlands, in executing this task appears to have been actuated more 
by feelings of private revenge than by an honest desire to carry out the spirit of 
his commission. 

Montrose, then in command of the Covenanting army operating against the 
Royalists and the Marquis of Huntly in Aberdeenshire, was also most anxious to 
secure the services of Clan Menzies and their Chief Sir Alexander, as he calculated 
that if he was successful the powerful branches of Clan Menzies in Aberdeenshire — 
of which there were at this time the Menzies' of Pitfodels, of which Sir Thomas 
Menzies was the chieftain ; the Menzies' of Kinmundie, the Menzies' of Durn, the 
Menzies' of Balgownie, the Menzies' of Findon, the Menzies' of Cults, and others, 
all of whom gave their united support to King Charles and the Marquis of 
Huntly — it being obvious to Montrose that if he could get the old Chief, Sir 
Alexander the Menzies, to the Covenanting side, his influence might be brought to 
bear upon these powerful Aberdeenshire branches of the clan. Montrose had 
shortly before this received a commission from the tables to raise a body of troops 
for the service of the Covenanters. These he proceeded to call out, and had 
embodied a considerable part of this army with extraordinary promptitude, so 
much so that within a month he had raised a force of about 3000 men. Being 
joined by the forces under General Leslie, he marched towards Aberdeen. On his 
arrival at the Castle of Dunnottar, 7th June 1639, he wrote to Sir Alexander the 
Menzies and his son Duncan Menzies, the young chief, trying to induce them to 
follow him. Here is Montrose's letter : — 

" The Earl [afterwards Marquis] of Montrose to the Lairds of Weem, 
Donnottar, 7th June, 1639. 

" Honorabill and loving friends, — Having desyred the Earl of Atholl to bring 
with him all the Highland men he can gett for this expedition, these are to desyre 


yow to accompany him with all the people you can possibly make to come alongst 
under his command. 

" As for those that are refractarye and unwilling, he hade warrand to take such 
order with them as he shal think expedient. So hoping you will be most carefull 
and diligent to send all your peopl, and that they come willingly rather than be 
compeled, am, Your most affectionate freind, 


"From Dunnottar, the 7 of June 1639. 

" For my honarabill and lowing freindis, the lairdis of Weme, these." — 
Charter Room, Castle Mensies, No. 100. 

To all these bids for the services of the Clan Menzies and their chief, Sir 
Alexander considered it the most prudent course not to launch Clan Menzies and 
himself into the awful consequences of civil war. But, on the other hand, his son 
Duncan Menzies, the young chief, showed considerable favour to the drooping 
cause of Charles I. His ardent Highland temper seems to have displayed this to 
such an extent that, Argyle hearing of it, he sent the following letter to the 
aged chief: — ■ 

" Edinburgh, 30th May 1640. The Earl of Argyle states in this letter that the 
General and Committee in Edinburgh were suspicious of the conduct of the Laird's 
son. Advises him, if he was not able to travel himself, to send some of his men to 
Edinburgh to declare themselves in time ; to avoid the ' hard course ' which maay 
be taken with the refractory." In a holograph postscript the Earl adds, " your wyf 
and yow to may think it straing, as I doe, that [I] should be forced to be ane 
enimie to any of your children. ARGYLL." 

— Charter Room, Castle Mensies, No. yj. 

The actions of the Covenanters towards Montrose not being in accordance 
with his mind, he abandoned them as being a self-seeking set, and returned with 
all his heart to the cause of King Charles I., who commissioned the Marquis of 
Newcastle to furnish Montrose with a party of horse to enter the south of Scotland, 
but all he could procure was 800 militia and 200 horse, which consisted of noble- 
men and gentlemen. With this force he entered Scotland, 13th April 1644. He 
had not proceeded far when revolt broke out among the English, who immediately 
returned. He, however, took Dumfries, but not receiving additions he was 
compelled to disguise himself as groom to his friend Sibbald. In this way he 
reached the Highlands and the house of Patrick Graham, near the Tay, lying among 
the hills. While coadjutating on the best course he should pursue, some Highland 
shepherds brought him news that Irish troops had landed and had been joined by 
the MacDonalds, led by Alexander MacDonald of Coll, to whom he at once sent 
word to come to Athole. In fixing upon Athole as the place of rendezvous, 
Montrose was actuated by implicit reliance on the fidelity of the Menzies', Stewarts, 

274 THE "RED 6- WHITE" BOOK OF MENZIES, [a.d. 1640-1644. 

Robertsons, MacGregors, and other Athole men. On receipt of instructions 
MacDonald promptly marched into Athole and fixed his headquarters at Blair. 
All along his march he had been threatened by Argyle, but new life was put into 
the Highlanders by the arrival of Montrose at Blair, to which he had travelled 
70 miles on foot in the Highland dress. His appearance was hailed with great joy 
by the Highlanders, who spontaneously offered him their services. At this juncture 
Montrose, knowing that the cautious old chief of the Menzies' did not want to be 
disturbed in the sunset of his days with the strife of parties, and also knowing 
from what he had heard that the young Chief Duncan Menzies was most anxious to 
come out for King Charles, but was kept in check by the Chief Sir Alexander, his 
father, who, although old, still maintained his right as chief that the clan should not 
imbrue its hands in war without his sanction, Montrose wrote him a letter, in 
which he endeavoured to persuade him by many promises and offers to call out 
Clan Menzies. To this the aged chief returned such a reply that Montrose 
thought the only way to bring him to bay was to threaten him with severe 
measures, which meant the invasion of the lands of the Menzies'. This letter is 
still preserved in the Charter Room of Castle Menzies, and is as follows : — 

" James, Marquis of Montrose, to ' Sir Alexander Meinzes,' the Laird of Weem. 
[No date, circa 1644]. — Sir, I must admire of your answer which I could heave 
wery littell expected. Aluayes yow will beleaue that as I am loth to be seuere, so 
I will not be dallied. This is the tyme when there can be no lurking nor 
indeferency, bot all must syde on way or ane other. Iff feare keipe any from 
serueing ther Prince, shall it not much more from serueing rebells against him ? 
Iff they would be cruell in the one will not we be just in the other? So there ar 
bot on chose : to hazard all for your natiue and kyndly Prince (which danger 
I hope will not be great) or wentor all contrary to the laues of God and man 
against him. The last, I hope (with the assistance of God) shall be found the 
greattest danger. Wherefor, Sir, lett me againe requyre, in his Maiesties (name) to 
keipe the forme dyett with your self and all you can eather desyre or command, 
or say that you declyne your Prince, and his commandements by 


" For the Laird of Weime and all belonging to him." This letter is holograph 
of Montrose. — Charter Rooin, Castle Menzies, No. 101. 

This letter had the effect of making Sir Alexander take the opposite course 
from what Montrose wanted. Like a sensitive Highlander, he would not be forced 
to follow any man, and therefore determined so far as old age would carry him, 
to resist Montrose if he attempted to carry out his threat. On the other side, 
Montrose now resolved to open the campaign at once by a descent on the 
Lowlands. In pursuance of this determination, Montrose put his army in motion 
and marched up the Appin-na-Meinerich, the vale of Menzies, now Strath Tay ; 


2 t 



in passing through which he expected to be joined by the inhabitants of the 
adjoining country, all of whom then followed the Menzies'. At the same time 
he sent a trumpeter or messenger with, it is said, a " friendly notice to the 
Menzies' " of his intention to pass through their country. But instead of taking 
this in good part, the Menzies' are said to have " maltreated the messenger," and 
attacked and harassed the rear of his army. These daring acts of a single clan 
against the whole army of Montrose, which, if the Campbells of Glenurchy, as 
followers of Clan Menzies, had been courageous enough to have joined in, might 
have proved disastrous to Montrose and his army. The attack of the Menzies' 
being well directed, so provoked and exasperated Montrose, that he ordered his 
men when passing through the Menzies village of Weem to set it on fire, to 
plunder and lay waste the lands of Clan Menzies, and burn their houses with the 
crops on the fertile plains of their vale lying near Castle Menzies, that it might 
be an example of summary vengeance, which would serve as a useful lesson to 
deter other Highland clans who might be disposed to imitate the high-spirited 
and daring conduct of the Clan Menzies. Montrose, however, was forced to limit 
himself to this course of seeking his vengeance, as he was without artillery and 
quite unable to take Castle Menzies, his attacks on the castle being repulsed with 
considerable loss, from the turrets and parapets of which a raking fire was kept up 
upon his men who attempted to come within range of the bronze guns of Castle 
Menzies. The fire of these guns, from their high position, swept the whole parks 
and fields near the castle ; then, from the low-level gun-ports the iron doors were 
so well protected by their position, the fire from which prevented Montrose from 
having any chance of bursting the iron doors by using a battering-ram. He 
was therefore beaten off at all points, and forced to raise the siege. It was at this 
point, when Montrose's men were withdrawing after their last fruitless attack on 
Castle Menzies, that a portion of Clan Menzies, led on by their brave old chief, made 
a sortie after the retreating Montrose, and fell upon the rear of his army with so 
much fury that the whole army was obliged to face about to withstand the onslaught 
of the Chief Sir Alexander and Clan Menzies. The little band of Menzies' were 
soon surrounded on all sides, but still they fought hard to save their old chief, whom 
they surrounded to defend, but all was of no avail. The clansmen were over- 
powered by numbers, cut down, and their old chief wounded and taken a prisoner 
by Montrose. He was marched in triumph by his army, as the first important 
prisoner and victory gained by Montrose, in his then newly-espoused cause of 
King Charles. The news of this achievement spread like wildfire, and in a few 
days it reached the city of Aberdeen, the effect of which was then described by 
Spalding, who thus writes : — 

" 1644. Ye see Montroses march into Athole. He took the Laird of 
Meingzies captive, and others, outstanding rebellis. He goes to the Laird of 

T 2 

276 THE "RED & WHITE" BOOK OF MENZIES. [a.d. 1644. 

Glenurcheis lands, burns, wastes, and distroyis his counntries, being one of 
Argyle's speciall kinsmen." 

In this conflict the Chief Sir Alexander the Menzies was severely wounded 
before he was captured. From this cause, and the treatment given to the brave 
old chief — his wounds not being properly attended to after being cast into prison — 
he does not appear to have ever returned alive. His eldest surviving son, 
Duncan, seems to have been permitted to bring his dead body home and lay it 
within the Auld Kirk o' Weem, where the principal panel in the back of the 
Menzies Altar is to his memory. 

The main panel of the Menzies Altar in the Auld Kirk o' Weem extends 
fully half-way across the back and on a level with the stone slab of the altar. It 
was evidently inserted in the wall between 1588 and 1616, between which dates 
the altar appears to have been repaired and put in such a state as to make it 
withstand the hand of time in a wonderfully perfect state of preservation down to 
the present. The Latin inscription on this ornamental panel is all in capital 
letters ; the latter half being to the memory of the Chief Sir Alexander the 
Menzies, as follows : — 


D . O. M . S 


Translation : 
Royal in perpetuity by descent from the Royal Family of Britain, 
Likewise of Athole, related to Lawers by ancestral family, 
By his great-great-grandmother noble Huntly's daughter to Huntly, and 
From the illustrious family of Edzell descended by birth. 

House and lineage of Menzies, illustrious in its descent, 
Of which is the learned Alexander Menzies of Weem, and also 
Agnes Campbell, his spouse, whose great and good name to posterity is restored. 
In Memorial mention here to stand for a brave and temperate man. 

The greater part of the Latin inscriptions on the Menzies Altar are the 
composition of Chief Sir Alexander the Menzies, who, for his attainments as a 

A.D. 1644.] 



composer of Latin verse in his youth, at the University of Glasgow, was created 
Poet Laureate. 

Chief Sir Alexander the Menzies at the time of his death would be about 87 
or 88 years of age. During his life he married (1st) Margaret Campbell, daughter 
of Sir Duncan Campbell of Glenurchy, of which marriage there was no issue ; 
thereafter he married (2ndly) Elizabeth Forrester, daughter of Sir John Forrester of 
Carden, by whom he had two sons :— 

1st. John Menzies, to whom in 1603, as eldest son and heir, was provided the 
free estates of Menzies, but he predeceased his father without issue, before 1623. 
2nd. Duncan Menzies, who afterwards became chief, and succeeded his father. 

Sir Alexander the Menzies married (3rdly) Marjory Campbell, daughter of the 
Bishop of Brechin, by whom he had seven sons : — 

1st. Alexander Menzies of Rotmell, of whom there are descendants still alive, 
or were in the time of Nisbet, 1790. The lands of Rotmell are between Dunkeld 
and Ballinluig, and lie on the slopes of the Grampian range. They were formerly 
incorporated in the Menzies Charters under their district of Dowally, held by the 
Menzies' by charter under the Crown prior to and in 1457, for which they then 
paid a fee of 33s. 4d. The various lakes in the district are known as the Lochs 
of Rotmell. 

2nd. William Menzies of Carse, of whom there were descendants still alive 
about 1790. The lands of Carse are in the vale of the Menzies', about four miles 
west from Castle Menzies, their name being derived from the flat stretch of fields 
surrounding the old house of Carse. These lands, however, have returned to the 
main line, and are in possession of the present chief. 

3rd. Thomas Menzies of " Inchaffray." He got as his portion the lands of 


Inchaffray in Strathearn, between Crieff and Methven. These were formerly held 
under the Crown by his ancestors from the days of Bruce, with the ancient church. 

278 THE "RED £>» WHITE" BOOK OF MENZIES. [a.d. 1644. 

The Menzies abbot of Inchaffray or canon walked before the Scottish army at the 
battle of Bannockburn — see p. 52. A matrix of the seal of this Canon Menzies is 
now preserved in the Museum of the Scottish Society of Antiquaries, Edinburgh. 

4th. Robert Menzies of Glassie. The lands and house are about two miles 
east of Weem in the vale of Menzies or Strathtay, and included Loch Glassie ; 
also the old house of Glassie, still standing. 

5 th. George Menzies of Dalrawer. These lands form part of the fertile and 
beautiful carse of the Appin-na-Meinerich, and are now held by the present 

6th. David Menzies of Murthly — the lands of which stretch away along the 
southern slope of the Menzies vale eastward from Aberfeldy. The old house of 
Murthly still stands there, and has been held and inhabited by successive sons 
and grandsons of the chief. 

7th. Archibald Menzies, W.S., who, having studied at the University of 
Edinburgh, became a Writer to the Signet. 

Sir Alexander had likewise of this marriage four daughters : — 

1. Helen Menzies, who was married to Sir James Campbell of Lawers. 

2. Grizzel Menzies, who was married to Sir Thomas Stewart of Grandtully, 
Knight (born 1608, died 1688). 

3. Margaret Menzies {pb. 1670), married Colin Campbell of Bowhaste or 
Mochaster {pb. 1669), second son of the Laird of Glenorchy, ancestor of the Earl 
of Breadalbane. 

4. Jean Menzies, who was married to Alexander Robertson of Lude. 

The contracts of all these marriages are in the Charter Room of Castle Menzies. 

Regarding this second daughter — Grizzel Menzies — the Laird of Grandtully 
considered that he had made a splendid connection for his family by having his 
son connected to the house and clan of Menzies. This is apparent by the 
following : — 

The wife of Sir Thomas Stewart of Grandtully was Grizzel Menzies, by whom 
he had a family of one son, John, and eight daughters. The daughters were — 1st, 
Jean, who married Sir James Mercer of Aldie, 22nd November 1648 ; 2nd, Marjory, 
married David Fotheringhame of Pourie, 20th November 1656 ; 3rd, Grizzel, married 
Hon. John Drummond of Burnbank ; 4th, Cecil, married John Stewart of Arntully ; 
5th, Anna, married James Seton of Touch ; 6th, Helen, married James Crichton of 
Ruthvens ; 7th, Elizabeth, married David Leslie of Newark ; 8th, no record. 

For the purpose of keeping up the dignity of the houses of Stewart and 
Menzies we find that — 


" Sir William Stewart of Grandtully, on the occasion of the marriage of 
his eldest son, Thomas Stewart, with Grizel Menzies, in the year 1627, became 
bound to resign the barony of Kercow in favour of his son, Thomas, and 
his spouse, Grizel Menzies, and his heirs-male of their marriage. Resignation was 
made in the year 1644, when King Charles the First granted a charter of novo- 
damus, erection, and annexation, under the Great Seal, in favour of Sir Thomas 
Stewart and his spouse, Grizel Menzies." — Red Book of Grandtully, pp. 78, 88, vol. i. 

Grizzel Menzies must have been a lady of considerable attractions, for after the 
death of her first husband, she was married to the Laird of Moncrieff, as we find 
from the following : — 

"Sir John Moncrieff of that Ilk was born 1608, and knighted by Charles I. at 
the coronation in Holyrood in 1633. He married Grizel Menzies, daughter of Sir 
Alexander Menzies of Weem. She died about 1688." — Burgesses of Dundee,^. 171. 

Regarding the marriage of Margaret Menzies, Douglas says — " (Breadalbion) 
Colin Campbell of Mochaster, 2nd son of Sir Robert Campbell of Glenurchy, married, 
6th April . . . Margaret, third daughter of Sir Alexander Menzies of Castle 
Menzies, and had five sons." — Douglas Peerage, vol. i., p. 241. 

The marriage is more fully detailed in respect to the lands which were to go 
as a portion to Glenurchy's son, to whom his father gave lands sufficient to keep 
up the dignity with which Margaret Menzies had been brought up, as will be seen 
by the following : — 

" Item, 1640. The Laird, Sir Robert, gave to Coline, his secound sone (who 
was married upon Margaret Menzeis, dauchter of Sir Alexander Menzeis, the Laird 
of Weymes) the whole landis in Strathgartney (except the Letter, which is holdine 
waird), and these are the lands following, viz., Corrichrombie, Mochastyre, Tarndoune, 
Ester Dullettir, Portnellan, with the yll of Lochbauchar and the loch, Carndeor, 
Milntoune, Lenrick, Drippen, Coischchambie, Ofference of Lenerick, Duncreggan, 
Ardkeanknokan, Larg, Brauchylzie, Edderalekich, Strongarrowald, Ardmak- 
monyane ; The said Coline reserveing his motheris of hir lifrent of hir conjunt 
tie lands conforme to the long band which ar holdine in few of the house of 
Glenurquhy." — Black Book of Taymouth, p. 97. 


Chieftain John Menzies of Moreinch. He held the lands of Morenish, with 
part of Glendochart, at the west end of Loch Tay, of the chief, and is mentioned in 
the obligation of Lady Weem in 1586. 

Chieftain Robert Menzies of Comrie, which lands he held of the chief, is 
a frequent witness to documents of his time ; also to one given in 1587. 

2 8o THE " RED & WHITE" BOOK OF MENZIES. [a.d. 1644. 

CHIEFTAIN JOHN Menzies of Foird, Fordie, already mentioned in 1587. 
His lands are now called Lawers, and lie in Strathearn, near Comrie. 

Chieftain Robert Menzies of Snaip. He also is mentioned in the trans- 
actions of Sir Alexander in 1591. Loch Snipe is in the parish of Dalrymple, 

The Rev. John Menzies, chaplain to Sir Alexander the chief, and parson of 
Weem, likewise mentioned in his time. 

Chieftain Alexander Menzies of Cramloxis, who was uncle to the Chief 
Sir Alexander, and figures in the transactions of his life, as in 1594. 

SIR THOMAS Meingyeis, Knight, Chieftain of the Menzies' of Durne, Lord 
Provost of Aberdeen. He sat in the Scottish Parliaments of King James VI., 
representing Aberdeen at Edinburgh, 10th July 1593, and again, 27th May 1617, 
13th and 15th June, and September 1617. It was this Sir Thomas Meingyeis who 
discovered the great Scottish pearl in the Ythan, or Yeatn, in Aberdeenshire, the 
size and beauty of which surpassed all others. This pearl he brought to Edinburgh 
and presented it to King James VI., who was so charmed and delighted with its 
great size and beautiful sheen that he had it put on the Scottish crown, where, 
being the largest known pearl, it was made the topmost of all. It now forms the 
apex of the Scottish crown. For this gift King James VI. knighted him. 

ROBERT "Menzeis," who sat in the Scottish Parliament held at Perth, 
January 1594, by James VI., representing Aberdeen. 

Chieftain David Menzies, Elder of Durne. He was Lord Provost of 
Aberdeen in 1604, an d was Baron of the lands of Durn in Aberdeenshire. 

Chieftain Thomas Menzies, Baron of Cults. He was Lord Provost of 
Aberdeen from the year 161 5 to 1620. From him descend the Aberdeen Menzies' 
of Cults or Culter, whose names are now corrupted to Mennie and other local 
spellings of the name. 

Sir Paul Menzies, Knight, Chieftain and Baron of Kinmundy, Lord Provost 
of Aberdeen from 1623 to 1634. He was a man of great learning, and the greatest 
patron of art of his time. It is to his kindness, support, and help that we are 
indebted for our " Scottish Vandyke," Jamesone. Sir Paul Menzies, seeing merit in 
the young artist, assisted him by commissions, and after he had become proficient 


in his art, took Jamesone to Edinburgh, and there introduced him to King Charles 
the First, who, on the recommendation of Sir Paul, gave Jamesone his first royal 
commission to paint his portrait, for which Charles I. sat to him. Sir Paul 
Menzies was a great favourite with Charles I., who knighted him. He sat in 
the Scottish Parliaments, representing Aberdeen from 1625 to 1633. 

SIR GILBERT MENZIES, Knight, Chieftain and Baron of Pitfodels, head of the 
Aberdeenshire Menzies'. He, with the whole of his branch of Clan Menzies, were 
devoted royalists in the wars of King Charles I. He had the Aberdeen Menzies' 
out under Montrose in all his battles. Sir Gilbert sat in the Scottish Parliaments 
of Charles I. at Edinburgh, 15th August 1643 and 26th August 1643. 

Chieftain James Menzies of Enouch. He held the lands and ancient castle 
of Enouch, and in the year 1627 had a charter granted him of the Barony of 
Enouch. Included in it was the Altar of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the church 
of Durrisdeer. 

Chieftain John Menzeis of Castlehill, who, in 1628, got a grant by charter 
of the lands of " Folkerton," in the barony of Lesmahagow. 

Chieftain John Menzies of Culterawis, who held these lands in 1640, being 
part of the old Menzies barony of Culter, in Lanarkshire. 

Chieftain Robert Menzies of Overfaulds, who had a feud with Fleming of 
Moness, as related in 1609. 

Chieftain Duncan Menzies of Roro, Captain of Clan Menzies, brother of 
Sir Alexander the Menzies. He held the whole of Glenlyon, or nearly so, for a 
great part of his life, but in 1603 he feu-farmed large portions to the Campbells. 
He held the old fortress of the Menzies' in Glenlyon — Meggernie Castle. 

Chief Sir Duncan tbe "m>eane3ei6, 53ro in Descent, ano 
I6tb Baron of flDen3ic6. 


BORN 1600. DIED 1656. 

ING JAMES VI. confirmed the grant to Chief Duncan 
the Menzies of the estates and possessions of his 
father, Chief Sir Alexander the Menzies, his elder 
brother John having predeceased his father without 
issue. Duncan, the second son, was therefore retoured 
heir to his brother John the Menzies in such parts of 
the estates of Menzies as he held in fee at the time of 
his death. At the birth of Duncan, in the year 1600, 
his father, Sir Alexander, being related to and on the 
most cordial and friendly terms with Lord Drummond, who in that year was having 
several bells cast in Edinburgh, — he, on learning of the birth of Duncan, presented 
a bell to Sir Alexander the Menzies, who erected it above the north gate or 
entrance to Castle Menzies to commemorate his birth, where it now stands. 
Around the top of the bell is cast this inscription on the first band : — 
" 1600 x + x x' . - ROBERTUS MAXUELL, and on the second band "THE 
FECITEDINEURCH " (I was founded at Edinburgh), FOR ■ MY ■ LORD ■ 
DRUMMOND." The young Chief Duncan figured through a great portion of 
the troubles of Scotland in the time of his father, in the transactions of whom his 
name appears frequently. He married Lady Jean Leslie, only daughter of James, 
master of Rothes, and sister to John, fifth Earl of Rothes, by Katharine, daughter 
of Patrick, Lord Drummond. The marriage was celebrated about the year 1622. 

On the death of John, the eldest son of Alexander the Menzies, which must 
have taken place about the year 1622, Duncan, the second son, got possession 
of his estates ; the full possession of which is confirmed by the following 
charter : — 

"July 17, 1622. Duncan Meanezeis, heir male to Joannis Meanezeis, son 


> & 



a.d. 1622.] THE "TRUSTY" CHIEF. 283 

legitimate born second to Lord Alexander Meanezeis of Menzies, knight, between 
him and Elizabeth Forrester, his wife. Born his son, in the lands and barony of 
Weyme — viz., the lands of Weyme, Aberfaldybeg, Ardferlemoir, Ferlegar, Rairr, 
Dalravir, Glassy, Kynnaldie, Glengolantine, Comrie, Auchilles, Fernachtie, and 
Dancrosk (or Duniscroft), with the lands of Roras in Glenlyoun, and the patronage 
of the Church of Weyme. The lands and patronage of Meanezeis Croft in 
shire of Kinross, A.E. 35/., N.E. 140/. Together with the numerous other lands in 
the barony of Meanezies. The 20s. lands of Edderowll, the 4 merk lands of 
Cambusarnay, the market of Tollichro, near to the said lands of Cambusarnay, the 
20s. lands of Nether Mewan, the 5 merk lands of Tigyermath, and the 2 merk 
lands of Thometheogill, extending in whole to 10s. lands of old extent in the 
Lordship of Apnadull, A.E. 10/., N.E. 30/., joined to the barony of Cambusarnay. 
The 20s. lands of Petten, the 20s. lands of Over Mewan, the 20s. lands of Dal- 
moyne (or Dalman), the merk land of Overtollichra, the 4 merk lands of 
Tullichdullis, in the said Lordship of Apnadull, with the office of hereditary bailie 
of the said Lordship of Apnadull, E. 12/. 18s. 6d. The small lands of the church's 
and the church and parish of Dull — viz., the lands of Croftelauchan, Drumdewan, 
Kynnettle, with the fishings of rivers of Dull, and numerous other lands of Dull. 
The many hills and other parts of Craigdull, the many parts of the lands of 
Auchtravie, and a tenth of the produce from the said lands of the church within 
the regality of ' Saint Andrews.' With the free forests in surrounding bounds 
of the lands aforesaid, E. 9M. Altogether united into the barony of Meanezeis." — 
J.C. D.R. retours, 

Edderowell, the lands of which are mentioned in the foregoing, is a 
district of the Menzies country, on the south-east side of Loch Tay, and stretches 
from Stix on the east of the present Taymouth Castle, westward to the ancient 
fortalice of the Menzies' " Mains," Maynus Castle, at Ardeonaig, about the south 
centre of Loch Tay. Within this district are the present lands of Stuix, Taymouth 
Castle, Acharn, Achianich, Callelochan, Ardradnaig, Skiag, Ardtalonaig, Claggan, 
Easter and Wester Tullich, Marymore, and Maynus Castle or Dall, with other 
places along the shore, and stretching over the hills towards Glenquich. The 
whole scenery from these lands within view belonged to Clan Menzies, which, 
looking northwards, is grand and imposing. From the sides of Loch Tay rise hill 
upon hill towards the sky, until they culminate in the lofty Ben Lawers. 

" TULLCHDULLIS," now " Tullichuil," also included in the charter — the lands 
of which stretch from Stix eastward along the south side of the Appin of the Menzies' 
to Bolfracks, and from the shores of the River Tay they extend over the gentle 
slopes of the vale southwards, including Craig Hill, 1845 feet high. From the 
high slopes of these lands a splendid view can be had of the ancient scholastic 
Menzies' village of Dull, Farleyer, Castle Menzies, Weem, and Weem Rock, with 



[a.d. 1 63 1. 

many other places nestling charmingly among the hills on the north side of the 
Vale of Menzies. 

FERNACHTIE, now Fearnan or Fernan, also recorded in this charter, are lands 
on the western slopes of Drummond Hill, stretching westward along the shores of 
Loch Tay to near Lawers, and northwards to the River Lyon. The Clachan of 
Fearnan nestles charmingly on the slopes of the shores of Loch Tay, and at this 
date was a well-populated district of the Menzies'. There was a church here 
dedicated to St Ciaran: its site is still visible on the farm of Boreland. There is at 
Fearnan another relic of those times remaining, in the Clach-na-Ct'uick, or "Stone 
of the Measles." It has on its upper side a cavity which contained rain water — 
this, on being drank by the patient, was considered a sovereign remedy for that 
disease. At one time it had a wide reputation, and persons came from all parts to 
drink the water. On the upper surface of the stone are seven cup-shaped holes, 
which evidently formed part of the charm. Fearnan means Aldery, or the place 
of the Alders. 


On the 1st April 163 1 the young chief, on the death of his mother, came into 
possession of her estates, and was retoured her heir, which is thus recorded : — 
" 1st April 1631. Duncan Menzies, younger of Menzies, heir of Elizabeth 
Forrester, Lady Weem, his mother. 

The Cadet Menzies of Comrie held from the young chief, Duncan Menzies, 
the lands of Roro in Glenlyon, and others. On the death of his uncle, also 
Duncan, these lands passed to his cousin, Alexander Menzies of Comrie. 

The following is the retour of Alexander Menzies of Comrie, in which he had 
included the lands of Roro in Glenlyon, belonging to the junior chief Duncan 
Menzies, without his knowledge, or acknowledging him as superior : — 

" Extract retour of service expede in the Tolbooth of the Burgh of Perth on 
the 12 February 1631, before Sir John Moncrieff of Kynmounth, knight, master 

a.d. 1631-1633.] THE " TRUSTY" CHIEF. 285 

William Murry of Achtertyre, and master Andrew Moncreiff, son of the said Sir 
John Moncreiff, Sheriffs-depute of Sir William Stewart of Grantullie, Knight, 
Sheriff-principal of the Sheriffdom of Perth, by the following persons of inquest : 
Sir William Murray of Abercairney, Knight, Sir James Campbell of Laweris, 
Knight, Mungo Campbell, fear of Laweris, Patrick Inglis of Byres, James 
Drummond of Mylnab, master John Malloche of Cairneyis, William Grahame of 
Calender, John Nairne, Chamberlain of Kynfownes, Adam Grant, bailie, burgess 
of Perth, William Hall, burgess there, Robert Marschell of Pitcairnes, Andrew 
Grant of Blahagillis, William Moncreiff of Ardetie, John Robertsoun of Eister 
Fornocht, and Thomas Barclay in Wallastoun ; Of Alexander Menzies of 
Comrie, as heir to the late DUNCAN MENZIES OF Comrie, his father, in the lands 
of Balnagarde and Balnavert in the Sheriffdom of Perth, and the lands of Rorak 
or Roras in Glenlyoun, and Eister and Wester Comries, Auchloy and Logane, with 
Towers, &c, in the Barony of Menzies and Shire of Perth, the lands of Balnagrade 
and Balnavert, to be held of the King in Chief; Eister Drumcarss, &c, of 
Allexander, Bishop of Dunkeld, and his successors, for payment of 40s, yearly ; 
Rorak or Roras, in Glenlyoun, Eister and Wester Comries, Auchloy, and Logane, 
to be held in chief of the Crown for ward and relief." — The Duke of Athole's 
Historical MS S., 7th Rept, p. 14. 

In the foregoing retour were the lands of Roro and others in Glenlyon, part of 
the lands included in the charter of 1622, belonging to junior Chief Duncan 
Menzies. Information of this coming to the ears of the young laird, there at once 
arose a difficulty about these lands of Comrie and Glenlyon, between the chieftain 
of the Comrie branch and the junior chief. This state of matters between the 
kinsmen lasted for several years, and was fomented by the Campbells, who had a 
longing eye after the lands of Comrie. These lie pleasantly between the rivers Tay 
and Lyon. They consist of a large fertile plain at the foot of the beautiful 
Drummond Hill, right under the shadow of which stands Comrie Castle, on the 
south bank of the river Lyon. The settlement of these matters lasted till 1633, 
when a letter was sent to the junior Chief Duncan Menzies, showing that an 
attempt was being made to settle the matter in dispute between him and 
Alexander Menzies of Comrie. This letter is as follows : — 

" Mr Thomas Murray to the Laird of Weyme. Edinburgh, 25 Nov. 1633. — 
Baron Comrie has been with him showing that things are not yet concluded 
between Co[usin] Meingeis of Comrie and Weem, that Comrie professes to have 
great willingness to have all things ended, which can only be done by legal 
documents, which if once settled there might be a more constant and cordial amity 
amoung them, and stating that ' yesterday my Lord St Andrews and Bishop of 
Aberdein went to Court. Your cusin, my Lord Rothes, is verry kyndly and 
favorably accepted be the King at his coming to Court, and the nixt day was 


THE "RED &• WHITE" BOOK OF MENZIES. [a.d. 1633-1636. 

made a Privie Counsallour of England, and to be one of the Garter.'" — -Charter 
Room, Castle Menzies, No. 113. 

The whole difficulty regarding the lands of Glenlyon, Comrie, &c, seems 
ultimately to have been settled in a friendly manner, that they should return to 
the eldest sons of the chiefs. 

The Menzies' country of Glenlyon has long been famous for its Celtic towers 
or forts, the works of the early Menzies' under Maynus; and for its remains of 
religious houses of the early Christian Menzies', on their sites, with the bells of 
their Celtic religious establishments ; also for its mote hills, cairns, and cists. In 
one of the latter some years ago, on it being opened, a very fine urn was found, 
ornamented with diaper-entwining, zig-zag, and other Celtic ornamentation. It 
has a very free, artistic outline, and its whole feeling is that of a work of art 
just from the hand (not the machine) of the artistic Menzies potter. — Proc. Soc. 
Antiq., Scot., vol. xix,, p. 40. 


INCHADNEY, not far from Comrie Castle, the lands of which were held partly 
as church lands of the Chiefs of Menzies, of which the vicars had their glebe. The 
vicarage stood at the angle formed by the bend of the river Tay, overlooking Loch 
Tay. A little east of it stood the church and churchyard of Inchadney. 

In 1636 the vicarship of Inchadney was held by the Rev. William Menzies, 
thought to be the son of Thomas Menzies of Inchaffray. The patronage of the 
church of Inchadney up to about this time was held by the Chiefs of Menzies. It 
was a privilege which, like other rights of the Menzies', was coveted by the 
Campbells. Taking advantage of the disturbed state of the country and the 
powerful' position to which Argyle had raised the Campbells, through going over to 
the Covenanters, who had then got the mastery, Glenurchy sought the patronage 

a.d. 1636-1642.] THE "TRUSTY" CHIEF. 287 

of Inchadney, and this he is said to have ultimately acquired by purchase, in 
" tak " or lease, which is thus given in the Black Book of Taymonth : — 

" The Laird Sir Coline finding ane defect in his right of the laich patronage of 
the Kirk of Inchaddin, through want of the bishop and dean of Dunkeld thair 
subscriptioun thairto, he movit the dean and bishop to subscrybe the same, and 
also obtenit thair ratification thairof, and gott ane new tak from Mr William 
Menyeis, then the parsone and vicar of Inchaddin, of the teindis of the said 
parochin, for the which he gave them the sum of ane thousand merkis." — Black 
Book of Taymouth, p. 78. 

Inchadney and its auld kirk stood on the north bank of the Tay, not far from 
where the village of Kenmore now stands. It was at this date the church of the 
district. After Glenurchy had got possession of the patronage of the church 
confirmed by the Rev. Vicar William Menzies, the Campbells never rested until 
they had, like vandals, effaced the old church. Its ancient Menzies high altar and 
other relics of the Menzies' are now no more, having been destroyed to make a 
pleasure ground for the Breadalbanes. 

In 1638 the chief of the Menzies' had letters from the Earl of Argyle and 
the great Marquis of Montrose, each soliciting his help, and urging him to call out 
for their army the Clan Menzies. About this time Campbell of Glenurchy called 
out his men, among whom we have record of several Menzies' who appear on his 
lists. These Menzies' at least had been allowed to retain their own name, which 
is rather surprising, as many of the Menzies' and other clans who were on the lands 
when they were got in feu by the Campbells were forced to change their names to 
that of Campbell. This was the general policy of the Campbells wherever they 
went. The following describes the weapons of a Highlander of the Menzies', who 
evidently were well armed : — 

In the lists of " able men meit to bear armes within the parochin of Inchaddin, 
with their weapones, perteining to the Laird of Glenurquhay, ' Morinch,' is the 
name of Johne Menzeis — 1 sword, target, bow, arrowes, 1 hakbut ;" and in "Wester 
Stuik is the name of Johne Menzeis — 1 sword, target, 1 hakbut. 1638." 

These Menzies', it appears, were out in all the warfare of the succeeding years. 
There is another entry which seems to refer to the wife of one of the above John 
Menzies', in whose absence his wife and daughter were ill-treated by one of the 
other tenants of Campbell of Glenurchy, who thus dealt with him : — 

"27 Dec. 1642. The laird persewis Donald Gressich, Millar in Balloch, for 
troubling of Johnne Menzeis' wyfe at the Milne, and bastin of hir, offering to stryk 
hir, and giving hir ill language and to hir daughter, convicts him in troblance and 
in the wrong, and ordains him to goe and remaine in the brankis half ane hour 
eftir sermon on Sunday nixt for his fault, or ellis xx lib. of unlaw to the laird." — 
Black Book of Taymouth, pp. 390-9, 401. 

288 THE "RED &> WHITE" BOOK OF MENZIES. [ad. 1644-1645. 

As already recorded, in 1644, the brave old chief, Sir Alexander the Menzies, 
was captured by the great Marquis of Montrose while defending himself against 
overpowering numbers, and died of his wounds in their prison. After that event 
the junior chief became chief, and possessed the whole lands and estates of his 
father. Chief Duncan the Menzies, to avenge the death of his father, the destruc- 
tion of his and his tenants' crops and other goods, armed a considerable body of 
Clan Menzies, who joined the Earl of Argyle's army which was raised to oppose 
that of Montrose, who defeated the Covenanting army on the old lands of the 
Menzies' near Perth, called Tippermuir ; and thereafter Perth surrendered to 
Montrose. Argyle then marched with a much superior army to relieve Perth, when 
Montrose withdrew and marched northward. He encountered and defeated the 
Covenanters under Lord Lewis Gordon, son of the Marquis of Huntly, at the battle 
of the Bridge of Dee ; after which he took Pitfodels and Aberdeen, and was joined 
by the Menzies' of Aberdeenshire. On the approach of Argyle he marched into 
Badenoch, where his army broke up, but were again mustered in Athole, but did 
not attempt to approach Castle Menzies. Ultimately he invaded Angus, where, 
being pursued by Argyle, he repassed the Grampians into Aberdeenshire, and at 
Fyvie, 27th October 1644, he was nearly surprised by Argyle, but maintained his 
position against the repeated attacks of a superior army under Argyle. With 
Montrose was the Aberdeen section of Clan Menzies under Pitfodels, until at 
length the darkness of night enabled him to retire into Badenoch, where, being 
joined by some other clans, he now marched into Argyleshire and laid waste the 
estates of Argyle, who, collecting a large force, went in pursuit. 

Argyle was joined as he marched northward by a band of Clan Menzies 
under Chieftain Major Menzies, brother of the " Prior of Auchattenis Parbrekis," 
the army of Argyle having got as far north as Inverlochy. On the 2nd of 
February 1645, at sunrise, the army of Montrose formed in battle array. Argyle, 
after forming his army for the fight, betook himself to his galley, from which 
he could see the conflict with safety. The left wing of Montrose's Highlanders 
commenced the attack by charging the enemy's right. This was followed by a 
furious assault upon the centre and left wing of Argyle's army by the right and 
centre of Montrose's Highlanders. Argyle's right wing not being able to resist 
the vigour of the Highland charge, turned and fled, leaving the rest of the army. 
A brave attempt was made by Major Menzies and others to rally the flying 
Covenanters, but without avail. Major Menzies, however, refused to fly with the 
Campbells, and, with his band of clansmen, defended himself against the mighty 
torrent of Montrose's Highlanders until, completely overpowered, his clansmen 
were cut down to a man, and he himself met death like a soldier. Montrose 
gained a great victory. Over 1500 of Argyle's army were slain. The death of 
Chieftain Major Menzies is recorded by Spalding in the following : — 

a.d. 1645-1646.] THE " TRUSTY" CHIEF. 289 

" 1645. At the battle of Inverlochie ' Thair was killet of all as was thoucht 
1500, whereof there was of chief men,' with others, 'Major Meingzeis, brother to 
the prior of Achattenis Parbrekis.' " 

In this battle sections of Clan Menzies fought on both sides, the Aberdeen- 
shire Menzies', under Chieftain Menzies of Pitfodels, being on the side of 

After the victory of Inverlochy Montrose marched upon and plundered Cullen, 
Banff, Stonehaven, and other towns. On the 4th April 1645 he took by storm the 
town of Dundee, which he was obliged to leave by the advance of two armies under 
Hurry and Baillie, whom he evaded by a rapid and masterly march and regained the 
mountains. From there he descended and defeated General Hurry at the battle of 
Auldearn, 4th May 1645. In his army were the Aberdeenshire Menzies'. The 
armj' of Hurry lost 2000 men and fled to Inverness. Montrose then turned upon 
Baillie and defeated him at the battle of Alford. After this victory Montrose 
descended into the Lowlands and defeated the army of the Estates under Baillie at 
Kilsyth, where they lost over 5000 men on 15th August 1645. After this victory, 
there being no army of any numbers to oppose, many of the clans returned home. 
Montrose proceeded southward and encamped at Philiphaugh, but was surprised by 
General David Leslie before he could form his men in line, and totally defeated 
there, 13th September 1645. Having again raised an army of Highlanders, he 
attacked Inverness, but had to raise the siege on the approach of a large force 
under Middleton. After the surrender of King Charles I., the king sent him notice 
to disband his army, which he did, 22nd July 1646. He then left Scotland. Through 
the whole of his campaign a considerable number of Clan Menzies followed him, 
but specially the Menzies' of Aberdeenshire, who were led by Chieftain Sir Gilbert 
Menzies of Pitfodels, and Chieftain Alexander Menzies of Kilmundie. During the 
successes of Montrose the Chief Duncan the Menzies had an arduous task in 
maintaining order and defending his own lands. As soon as Montrose had his 
army dispersed the Estates lost no time in sending a garrison under General Monk, 
who at once took possession of Castle Menzies. The knowledge of the repulse 
which Montrose received before its walls of six or seven feet of solid stone made 
General Monk fix upon it as a fortalice of great importance, from which the sur- 
rounding clans could be kept in subjection. After General Monk had put Castle 
Menzies into a proper state of defence, and appointed Captain Beke as governor, he 
marched his detachment to Coshiville, near Garth, from which he wrote to the 
governor of Castle Menzies on the 15th June 1646. This letter is still preserved 
in the Charter Room of Castle Menzies, and is somewhat to this effect : — 

" General George Monck to Captain Henry Beke, or the Governor of Weems 
for the time being, the Camp near Garth, 15th June 1646, giving orders as to the 

liberties and treatment to be affoarded to ' Chief Duncan Meingeis,' the Laird of 


z 9 o THE "RED 6- WHITE" BOOK OF MENZIES. [a.d. 1646. 

Weem, and his familay and tenants, while ' Castle Menzies ' was held as a garrison." 
— Charter Room, Castle Menzies, No. 103. 

During the foregoing events Chieftain Lieutenant Robert Menzies of Menzies, 
son of the chief, led out a portion of Clan Menzies for the service of the Estates. 
He was appointed lieutenant over the Earl of Tullibardine's men, and was stationed 
in the vicinity of Methven, where they preserved the whole surrounding country 
from plunder. After Montrose had defeated Generals Baillie and Hurry in the 
north, he then marched upon Perth and attacked Chieftain Robert Menzies near 
Methven, who, unable to withstand the great Montrose, retired into the Castle of 
" Logy," where he and Captain Stewart defied the efforts of Montrose to dislodge 
them ; but everything which they possessed within reach of Montrose was plundered 
and carried off. Some of their clansmen who had not been able to get into the 
castle were induced to follow Montrose. After the defeat of Montrose at Philip- 
haugh, Stewart and Chieftain Robert Menzies petitioned the Estates to make good 
their losses, as follows : — 

" The humble supplication of Captane James Stewart of Arditie, and Robert 
Menzies, my Lovetenent ovir the Erie of Tullibardine's men of Glenalmond, to the 
lordis and wthers of the honorabill committee of Estaite. That quher in the moneth 
of May last, 1645, pleisit the Estaties of this kingdome and my Lord Tullibardine 
to appoynt me captane ovir his lordship's landis and men of Glenalmond, and wpone 
the 30 of Maii we mustart 100 men in North Inch of Perth, and for the spaice of 
thrie monethis therefter I watchit and keipit the cuntrie so that there was nothing 
stollin nor reft therout of the enemie, and tuik sundrie of the personers ; wntill the 
bodie of the enemei's armie cam down to the Wood of Methven, quhais strenth I 
was not able to resist, that I and sum of my men with me tuik ws to the Castle of 
Logy and held it out againest the enemie ; and the rest of my men that was in the 
cauntrie, sum of theme being misled by euil counsell, did joyne thameselffs with the 
enemie by my knawledge to my greiff ; and in the meantyme all that belangit to 
me without the castle, both hors, mears, oxin, ky, scheip, houshold gear, and all that 
belangit to me and my tenentis they tuik with thame, and brunt our peat stakis ; 
the skaith sustenit be ws therthrow exceidis 4000 merkis. Lyk as since my entrie 
in the publickis seruice. I only ressauit thrie monethis mentenance in maill, and 
ane monthis pay in money, the remanent thereof is all restand me ; quhilk your 
Lordships will be pleisit to cus satisfie. 

" Farder, without any caus on our part, we are denudit of our chairge, and our 
wyffis and bairnis put of the house of Logy, exposit to the enemie, quhilk your 
Lordships wald also tak to your considderatioun, and do therein quhat seruis best 
to your Lordships, for we are content to serue the publick to our wttermoist poweir. 
Your Lordships gratious ansuer humblie we beseik. 

Indorsed 'My humble Supplication.'" — Charter Room, Castle Menzies, No. 102. 

A.D. 1646-1648..] THE "TRUSTY" CHIEF. 291 

The garrison at Castle Menzies was kept there from 1645 till a short time 
before the martyrdom of Charles I., when an order was issued for their withdrawal 
by the Scottish Parliament, which is thus recorded : — 

" Item— The estates of Parliament, according to the former orders of the 
Committiee of Estates, ordains that the 180 men of the garrisons within 
Glenurquhies, Lawers, and ' Chief Duncan Menzeis,' the Laird of Weymis' bounds, 
to be forthwith removed from those garrisons, and commands them to go in with 
their arms to Lodovik Leslie's Regiment, and reccommends to the Committiee of n, 
dureing the sitting of Parliament, and thereafter to the Committiee of Estates, to 
secure the Braes of the Sherifdomes of Perth and Angus," 1648. — Acts Par., Scot. 

In the two last Parliaments of King Charles I. Chief Duncan the Menzies 
sat, and we have his presence thus recorded in the Acts of Parliament : — 

" In the Scottish Parliament held at Edinburgh, in the Reign of 
Charles I., 16th April 1648, sat Duncan Meinzeis of Weyms, as commissioner 
for the Sherffdom of Perth." And again the Parliamentary records show that he 
was also present and sat in the Scottish Parliament held at Edinburgh, 1 8th of 
April 1648, in the reign of King Charles I., "Duncan Meingzeis of Weymis, as 
commissioner for the Sherffdom of Perth." 

Of other Menzies' who sat in the Scottish Parliaments about this time, the 
Parliamentary records show the following : — 

Alexander Meinzies, Baron of Culterallers, sat in the Parliaments of Charles I., 
held at Edinburgh, 2nd Feb. 1646, as commissioner for the shire of Lanark, 
and at the above Parliament of the iSth April 1648, also as a commissioner for 

Thomas Menzies, Baron of " Fergarmoch," sat in the Parliament of Charles I., 
held at Edinburgh, 25th July 1644, as commissioner for Perthshire; and also at the 
Parliament held at Edinburgh, 26th March 1647, also as commissioner for Perth. 

William Menzies, Baron of Carse, sat in the Parliament of Charles I. held at 
Edinburgh, 18th April 1648, as commissioner for the shire of Forfar. 

Sir Gilbert Menzies, Baron of Pitfodels, sat in the Parliaments of Charles I. 
held at Edinburgh, on the 15th Aug. 1643 and 26th Aug. 1643, and also in 1648, 
as commissioner for Aberdeenshire. 

Alexander Menzies, Baron of Kilmundie, sat in the Parliament of Charles I., 
held at Edinburgh, 18th April 1648, as commissioner for Aberdeenshire. 

After the Marquis of Montrose had left Scotland at the request of King 
Charles I., a few of the king's friends still held out for the king, the principal 
being the Marquis of Huntly, for whom the Estates had offered a reward of £1000 
to anyone who should bring him in a prisoner. General Leslie did everything 
that his military genius could plan to capture him but failed, although he had 
destroyed three of the strongholds of the Gordons in his attempt. General 

U 2 

2 9 2 THE "RED & WHITE" BOOK OF MENZIES. [a.d. 1649 

Middleton then took up the pursuit, but without success. HuntLy was, however, 
at length captured by Chieftain Lieutenant-Colonel James Menzies of Culdares, 
in December 1647. Having received intelligence of the hiding-place of the 
Marquis of Huntly, Chieftain James Menzies with a select body of horse, consisting 
of three troops, came to Dalnabo, in Strathdon, after midnight, and immediately 
entered the house just as the Marquis of Huntly was going to bed. Huntly had ten 
gentlemen and servants as a sort of bodyguard, who, notwithstanding the great 
disparity of numbers, made a brave resistance to protect the marquis ; but Colonel 
James Menzies being a splendid swordsman, six of Huntly 's men were soon killed 
and the rest mortally wounded, among whom was the landlord of the house, John 
Grant. The marquis was therefore forced to surrender to Colonel James Menzies. 
On news of the capture becoming known, the whole surrounding neighbourhood to 
the number of 400 or 500, with Grant of Carron at their head, flew to arms to 
rescue Huntly from Chieftain James Menzies, who, notwithstanding that he was 
surrounded on all sides, carried his prisoner to the Castle of Blairfindie in Glenlivet, 
some four miles from Dalnabo. Here Colonel James Menzies received notice 
intended for Huntly, by the wife of Gordon of Munmore, that Grant and his 
followers had sworn solemnly either to rescue the marquis or die to a man, and 
asking Huntly to give orders for the execution of the plan, but Huntly dissuaded 
them from the attempt. He knew that such a soldier and general as Menzies was 
could not be defeated in his purpose by those who proposed his rescue. Colonel 
James Menzies had attained considerable reputation under Gustavus Adolphus for 
acts of resolute bravery, daring, and strategy. He was considered an invincible 
soldier and as brave as a lion. Besides the gentlemen and clansmen about 
Huntly's person there were some Irish about Dalnabo; these were all carried 
prisoners by Colonel James Menzies to Strathbogie, where General Middleton then 
was, who ordered them all to be shot, by his instructions from the Estates. In con- 
sequence of an order from the Estates Colonel James Menzies carried the marquis 
under a strong escort of horse to Leith, where, after being kept a few days, he was 
delivered up to the magistrates, and thereafter by them incarcerated in the jail. 

What was suffered during these troubles by the daughter of the chief is 
shown by the following favours granted to Margaret Menzies by the Scottish 
Parliament : — 

"The Act in favours of Margaret Menzies, 1649. The Estates of Parliament 
having heard and considered the supplication of Margaret Meinzies, showing That 
the notorritete of the loss and sufferings these three years by-gone are sufficientlie 
knowing, whereby the poor tenants haveing been so de-papured, having their 
houses burnt and their goods and geir taken from them, That they caud hardly get 
their own maintinence, yet notwithstanding the supplicants are daily threatened 
with horneing And all other extreemities that can be used against them for non- 

a.d. 1649-1650.] THE "TRUSTY" CHIEF. 293 

payment of some bygone years of his Majesties few dewities owing to the 
Excheaquer, Which few dewities though they be but very small, yet in respect of the 
present supplicants' condition they are not able to make payment of them unless it 
wer to their utter ruion : Therefore the supplicants humbly desyre That the said 
Estates would by their act fairly examine the supplicant and the tennants of the 
lands belonging to hir in liferent off all his Majesties bygone few detuies at the 
hands of the lords of the Excheaquer, and for perfect effict To command and 
ordain William Murray ' of Keillo,' collector of the said few detuies in Perthshire, 
and all other collectors that has been or shall be Imployed for perfect effect, not 
to exact the same off the supplicant and the said tennants for bygones ; Nor to 
trouble them in any manner of way in time comeing for the said bygone few 
dewties. As at mair lenth is contained in the said supplication, Which being taken 
into consideration, the said Estates of Parliament, They have reccomended and 
earnestly recomends the said Margaret Meinzeis to the Lords Commissioners of 
Treasurery and to the Lords and others of the Excheaquer to examin the supplicant 
and hir tennants from payment of any of any of his Majesties few dewties from any 
lands belonging to hir in time bygone since the trobles begane, And in time 
comeing durind the devastation of the foresaid lands, and for that effect to dis- 
charge the collector or sub-collector of his Majesties few dewties within the 
Shirefdome of Perth : To exact the same from hir or hir said tennants for the 
foresaid years in time goneby and to come." — Acts of Par., vol.. vi., p. 470. 

This Margaret Menzies was a daughter of Chief Duncan the Menzies. She 
evidently conducted herself very courageously during these troublesome times. 
She married Alexander Stewart and got the lands of Foss. 

After the martyrdom of King Charles I., 30th January 1649, his eldest son 
Charles was proclaimed king, 5th February 1649, at the cross of Edinburgh. He 
was then at the Hague, where he refused to comply with the conditions of the 
Estates for his accession to the crown, after which Montrose was once more in 
Scotland for the cause of Charles II. Having landed at Orkney early in March 
1650, and collected an army of about 1500, he crossed the Pentland Firth in a 
number of boats. On landing near John o' Groat's House he displayed three 
banners. The first was black, with a representation of the bleeding head of the 
king, as struck off from the body, with the inscriptions, " JUDJE AND AVENGE MY 
CAUSE, O Lord, ! " and " Deo et Victricibus Armis" This standard was borne by 
Chieftain Gilbert Menzies, younger of Pitfodels, who led a section of Clan Menzies. 
The second was also a royal standard, the third that of Montrose. He soon took 
possession of a considerable part of the North, and was joined by the Clans 
Mackay, Gunn, Fraser, and part of the Sinclairs. With these he pushed southwards 
till he reached Carbisdale, where he encamped. There he was attacked and 
surprised by the Covenanting army. At the first charge the Orcadians threw down 

294 THE "RED & WHITE" BOOK OF MENZIES. [a.d. 1650-1652. 

their arms in terror. Montrose for some time made an unavailing effort to rally 
some of his men, righting with great bravery — having his horse several times shot 
under him — until all hope was gone. The most conspicuous that day for bravery 
was the Chieftain Gilbert Menzies, younger of Pitfodels, the bearer of the royal 
black standard. He fought to the last, being surrounded by the enemy. Being a 
splendid swordsman, he cut them down right and left, and although often offered 
quarter, he as often spurned it ; neither would he give up the royal standard nor 
yield until death closed the struggle. He was the last man on the field of battle 
to fall. A large stone still marks the place where Chieftain Gilbert Menzies, 
younger of Pitfodels, fell dead with the royal standard in his grasp, which even 
in death he held fast. Shortly after this Montrose was captured, taken prisoner 
to Edinburgh, and executed, to the great joy of Argyle. 

After the crowning of Charles II. as King of Scots, 1st January 1651, at Scone, 
it will be remembered that the greater part of Scotland, both Covenanting and 
otherwise, joined his standard to expel Cromwell after the battle of Dunbar. 
Among the Athole Highlanders who followed Charles II. into England, was a large 
portion of Clan Menzies, led by Chieftain William Menzies, the younger son of the 
Chief Duncan the Menzies. The royal army at length reached Worcester, where 
their forces numbered about 14,000 men. The Parliamentary army, on the other 
side, numbered over 30,000. King Charles II. himself fought at the head of the 
Highlanders, who, animated by his bravery, fought with the utmost daring and 
courage. Chieftain William Menzies at the head of his clansmen of Clan Menzies 
made a furious charge on the English, giving the slogan of Clan Menzies, " Geal 'S 
Dearg Git Brat/i," — " The Red and White for ever." They for a time drove 
Cromwell's Ironsides before them, but suffered severely, there being only one 
clansman to three English, and in the fury of their charge Clan Menzies lost their 
young chieftain, who fell in the thick of the fight and was killed. His kinsmen, 
furious at the loss of their chieftain, threw themselves upon the invincible ironclad 
Cromwellians with cries of " Revenge ! Revenge ! " but were overpowered by 
numbers and cut down to a man, rather than return home without their beloved 
young chieftain. The whole Royal army was ultimately defeated. The battle of 
Worcester was fought on 3rd September 165 1, and King Charles II. obliged to flee 
the country. 

The patriotic conduct of the Chief Duncan the Menzies, in sending his son 
into England with a considerable portion of Clan Menzies to assist the royal cause, 
greatly excited the suspicions of the Council of State : they laid heavy burdens on 
the Chief of the Menzies' and other Highland chiefs, without giving them the chance 
of an examination. They therefore petitioned the Council of State to be examined, 
and we find among the State Papers that their petition was referred to the Com- 
mittee for Examinations on the 16th of November 1652, and is thus recorded : — 






































































a.d. 1652-1653.] THE " TRUSTY" CHIEF. 295 

" 1652, Nov. 16. Council of State. The petition of Wm. Ross, Robert Scott, 
Duncan Menzis, Capt. Hen Shaw, Alex. Forbes, Thomas Twiddie, Alex. Strathan, 
Gilbert Campbell, and Wm. Stewart referred to the Committiee for Examinations, 
to examin and dispose according to former directions." — State Papers. 

Another reason why the Council of State was so severe on the Chief of Clan 
Menzies was that during the time Charles II. was at Perth, he visited the old chief 
of the Menzies' at Castle Menzies, and thereby won over the Chief Duncan the 
Menzies, who, to commemorate the visit of King Charles to Castle Menzies, had 
a fine slab modelled out with the cypher of the king, C . . R II., with a crown 
over each letter, erected above the old gate under the belfry, on the north side 
of Castle Menzies — doubtless the gate by which King Charles entered — where the 
slab still remains in a fair state of preservation. 


In the month of August 1653 a meeting of Royalists was held at Loch Earn, 
which was attended by Glencairn, Athole, Lome, and other Highland chiefs. It 
was arranged to again come out for Charles II. ; after which a body of 300 
Highlanders under Glencairn defeated Colonel Kidd. This raised the hearts of the 
Royalists, and many from the Menzies' country joined the earl's army. As Chief 
Sir Duncan the Menzies was infirm he could not come out himself, and having also 
to watch the Campbells, he was therefore forced to stay at home. As Charles was 
anxious to have his assistance, he wrote Chief Sir Duncan the Menzies the following 
letter, in which he calls him his " trusty and well-beloved." This letter is still 
preserved in the Charter Room of Castle Menzies, and is as follows : — 

" King Charles the Second to Sir Duncan Menzeis, the Laird of Weimes. 

" Chantilly, 2 November 1653. CHARLES R. Trusty and welbeloued, we 
greet yow well. Since the affection of our good subiects in our Highlandis 
is now soe notorious that the rebells themselves begin to confesse some appre- 
hension of their power, and the mischeiue would be irreparable if after so 
gallant an attempt to redeeme their country from the slavery and dishonour 
it groanes under, they should for want of concurrence in the whole nacion be 
reduced to extreamity, and made a prey to the bloody and mercyless English 
rebells, who intend an utter extirpation of the nobility and ancient gentry of 

296 THE "RED cV WHITE" BOOK OF MENZIES. [a.d. 1653-1655. 

that kingdome ; we have thought fitt in an espetiall manner to recommend so 
important a consideration to yow, and to desire that if upon any private and 
particular reasons you have hitherto forborne to engage your self with those who 
are intrusted in arms by vs, that yow will (as soon as they who are intrusted by vs 
shall desire yow) ioyne with them, and use your utmost intrest and power to 
advance our service, by drawing all your friends and dependants to a conjunction 
with them ; and as we are endeavouring all we can to procure armes, ammunicion, 
and other supplyes, to be sent unto yow by degrees, and in such a manner as we 
finde most conuenient, soe we have directed Lieutenant-Generall Middleton to 
repayre speedily to yow as soone as he can obteyne such a supply as we hope will 
not requyre much more time ; and we doubt not but God Almighty will blesse yow 
in this enterprize, and we shall never forgett the seruice yow shall doe vs, and the * 
alacrity yow shall expresse therein. And so we bid yow farewell. Given at 
Chantilly, the 2d day of November 1653, in the fifth year of our reigne. 
To our trusty and well-beloued, the Laird of Weimes." 

— Charter Room, Castle Menzies, No. 71. 

Notwithstanding the spirited start made by the Royalists, they first suffered 
from the desertion of Lord Lome, son of Argyle, and the Campbells, who went 
over to the enemy. . These and other dissensions, coupled with the powerful army 
of General Monk, with whom all the leaders at length came to terms, and whose 
Government once more restored tranquillity. We then find bonds being taken to 
keep the peace towards the Government by Chief Sir Duncan the Menzies from his 
MacGregor tenants, under obligation, as follows : — 

" Obligation by John M'Greigour in Bohespick, to become responsible for any 
damage the Laird of Weyme might sustain through his having engaged himself, 
under a penalty of 50/. sterling as surety, to Captain James Denis, governor of 
Balloch, that John M'Grigar in Leragane had neither done nor would do anything 
prejudical to the Commonwealth of England. Weem, 22 May 1655." — Charter 
Room, Castle Menzies, No. 190. 

General Monk, in procuring the submission of the leaders of the Royalist 
party, had them bound in caution to keep the peace, particularly Lord Lome, the 
first to desert the Royal cause, who had considerable difficulty in getting cautioners ; 
and in his hour of need he wrote to the Chief Sir Duncan the Menzies the following 
letter :— 

" Archibald, Lord Lome, afterwards ninth Earl of Argyll, to ' Sir Duncan the 
Menzeis,' the Laird of Weem : Roseneath, 6th June 1655. Requests the Laird to 
allow him to put the Laird's name in the list of persons willing to become sureties 
in a bond of 5000/., Lowland money, security, under which Lome was placed for 
his peaceable deportment." — Charter Room, Castle Menzies, No. 81. 

The chief seemed always ready to do a good turn to one in need, as in the case 

a.d. 1655-1656.] THE u TRUSTY" CHIEF. 297 

of Lord Lome, who, for his cowardly desertion of the Royal forces, was detested ; 
while his other acts of double-dealing had made it a matter of great difficulty for 
him to get a sufficient number of cautioners. He, however, induced Chief Sir 
Duncan the Menzies to sign the bond. 

The list of those who became sureties for Lord Lome we find attached to the 
deed, as under : — 

" Be it knowen to all men be these present letters, me, Archibald, Lord Lorn, 
forsameikle as att my earnest requeist and desire Charles, Earle of Dumfermling ; 
Williume, Earle of Selkirk ; James, Maister of Rolloe ; Sir James Dawglas, brother 
to the deceast Earle off Mortoune ; Duncan Menzies off Wemes, Allexander Bruce, 
brother to my Lord Kincairdein ; and Sir Johne Colquhoune off Lus, Knycht, are 
become bound and obliged, eiveryone of thame severallie, in each of thair pro- 
portiounes of the soume of five thowsand pounds sterling," &c. &c. — Chiefs of the 
Colquhouns, p. 269, vol. i. 

This act of Chief Sir Duncan the Menzies was about the last of his life of 
which there is any record. He died the following year, in the month of August 
1656, having seen much service in the affairs of his country, and lived amid all the 
struggles of the Royal Charles'. Being born about A.D. 1600, he was therefore 
about 56 years of age on his death. 

In his lifetime he made several alterations on Queen Mary's bedroom at Castle 
Menzies. On the ceiling are four monograms, within circular mouldings, consisting 
of his initial letters D. M. 

Chief Duncan the Menzies, by his wife Jean Leslie, only daughter of James, 
Master of Rothes, had three sons — 

1st. Alexander Menzies, his successor, and afterwards the first Baronet. 

2nd. Lieutenant Robert Menzies of Menzies, who led a portion of Clan 
Menzies against Montrose. 

3rd. Chieftain William Menzies, who, on the invasion of England by Charles 
II., led Clan Menzies at the battle of Worcester, where he was killed with the 
greater portion of the clan, resisting every inch of ground against Cromwell during 
the space of about five hours, when the Scottish army fought about three English 
to one Scot. 

The chief had also of this marriage five daughters — ■ 

1st. Marjory Menzies of Menzies, who married Mr Trotter, a merchant of 
Portugal, where several Menzies' went with her, and are now said to be represented 
by several noble families of similar name, such as the Marquess de Meingues, &c. 

2nd. Jean Menzies, who married Robert Campbell of Finnab. 

298 THE "RED & WHITE" BOOK OF MENZIES. [a.d. 1656. 

3rd. Elizabeth Menzies, who married the chief of the MacNabs, Alexander 
Macnab of that Ilk, through which marriage the Macnabs got the lands of Kinnel, 
at the west end of Loch Tay, in feu-farm from The Menzies of Menzies. 

4th. Margaret Menzies. She was married to Alexander Stewart, and got the 
lands of Foss from the Menzies' in feu-farm. 

5th. Helen Menzies, who died unmarried. 


Chieftain Colonel James Menzies, Baron of Culdares, who figured 
greatly in the time of Montrose. He received the Menzies lands of Culdares, 
with Meggernie Castle and the greater part of Glenlyon. In the early part of his 
life he saw much military service under Gustavus Adolphus. His life history 
would make a book itself, which may be taken up with his branch of Clan Menzies. 

Chieftain Alexander Menzies, Baron of Culterawis. These lands were 
served to him as heir of his father, also Alexander, on the 31st July 1649. He 
sat in the Parliament of Charles I., 18th April 1648. 

Chieftain James Menzies, Baron of Enouch, was served heir to his father 
John in the lands of Auchinsew, 19th July 1656. 

Chieftain William Menzies of Castlehill, as heir of his father John got 
the lands of " Fokartoun " in Lesmahagow, with fishings, &c, served to him on the 
19th Feb. 1650. 

Chieftain James Menzies, Baron of " Schian," who held Shian in Glenquich, 
and a stretch of other lands in Strathearn, which were served to him in 1659. 

Chieftain William Menzies of Aberfeldy or Murthly, succeeded his father 
Robert in those lands in the year 1627. 

Chieftain Alexander Menzies, Baron of Comrie, who sat in the Parlia- 
ments of Charles I., held at Edinburgh, 15th Aug. 1643 -1644- 1648, anc ^ a ^ so m tne 
Parliaments of Charles II., 1649 to 1659, in all of which he was a representative of 
Perthshire, and was appointed a Commissioner of War in 164S, and also one of the 
Commission appointed for the re-valuation of the shires of East Lothian, Aberdeen, 
and Angus in 1649. 

a.g. 1656.] THE "TRUSTY* CHIEF. 299 

Chieftain Gilbert Menzies, Baron of Pitfodels, son of Sir Gilbert Menzies 
of Pitfodels, already mentioned, who carried the black standard of King Charles, 
and fell so nobly in his cause. 

Chieftain Alexander Menzies, Baron of Kinmundie in Aberdeenshire. 
He sat in the Scottish Parliaments of Charles II. as a representative of the City of 

Chieftain Major Menzies, who led a portion of Clan Menzies at the 
battle of Inverlochy, and who, by his courageous resistance, when deserted by the 
Campbells, and death at that fight, has now become famous. 

Chieftain Alexander Menzies, Baron of Rotmell, brother of Chief Sir 
Duncan the Menzies, got the estates of Rotmell, and married Ann Stewart, whose 
genealogy is as follows : — 

The fifth son of Sir William Stewart of Grandtully was John Stewart, who was 
provided with part of the lands of Fungorth and the lands of Balleed in Perthshire, 
by his wife, Isabel Stewart, daughter of James Stewart of Ladywell. He had two 
sons and two daughters. The daughters were Margaret, and Anne, who married 
Alexander Menzies of Rotmell, brother to Chief Duncan Menzies of Weem. 
William Stewart, who succeeded his father as laird of Balleed, married Marjory 
Menzies, daughter of Colonel James Menzies of Kildares, by whom he had four 
sons — John, advocate ; Archibald, doctor of medicine ; Patrick, a merchant in 
Edinburgh ; and William, who also died without surviving issue ; and three 
daughters. — Red Book of Grandtully, p. 35. vol. i. 

The wife of Alexander Menzies having died with child, which outlived the 
mother, he made the following petition to Parliament : — 

" March 16th, 1649. Supplication by Alexander Menzeis, showing that his 
wife deceased lately in travelling with child, and that the chyld being borne alive 
did outlive the mother a certan space, and that (in case) the witnesses may die 
they can prove the child haveing been born alive, and therefore desiring commission 
to examine the witnesses to be kept in retentis ( retention ). ' It is the opinnion of 
the committie that commission be granted to the Commissioners of Dunkeld to 
ciet and examine witnesses thereanent ( ), and to keep their depositions 

in retention, and to summond the nearst of kin on the mother's side to the child, 
and to hear and see the witeness receavit (examined), and that this be without 
prejudice of any partie to their just defenss.' " — Acts Par., Scot., p. 2, vol. vi. 

Chieftain Alexander Menzies after this apparently married again, and had a 
daughter. This Miss Menzies married John Stewart of Urrard about 1660, whose 
eldest son James afterwards married Miss Menzies, daughter of Chief Sir Robert 
Menzies of Menzies, but had no issue. — Burke, His. Com., p. 401, vol. iv. 

Cbief Sir Hleranoer tbe " flDeingies," Iknigbt, Baronet, 54tb in 

Descent from Iking fn>a\mus, tbe I7tb Baron of tbat 31r, 

ano tbe first Baronet of flDen3ie6. 

BORN 1623. DIED 1694. 

Ilk, on the death of his father Chief Sir Duncan the Menzies, succeeded 
him in the whole estates and lands of Menzies. He was born in the 
year 1623, and on coming to the years of manhood, engaged in the 
arduous military services of his country. He also sat in the Scottish Parliaments 
as one of the representative Barons of Perthshire. On the 25th December 1650, 
it is recorded in the Acts of the Scottish Parliament, that an Act was passed "anent 
serving of Alexander Meingies of Weem heir to his vmq" deceased grandfather," 
which confirmed him also as heir to his father. He married Agnes Campbell, only 
daughter of Sir John Campbell of Glenurchy, by Mary, daughter of William, Earl 
of Airth and Menteith. She was the sister of the first Earl of Breadalbane. 

On 27th August 1656 Chief Sir Alexander the Menzies was served heir to his 
deceased father in the lands and estates of Menzies, which is thus recorded : — 

" Aug. 27, 1656. Alexander Meinzies of that Ilk, heir mail of Duncan 
Meinzies of that Ilk, his father, in the lands and baronie of Weime, comprehending 
the lands of Weime, Aberfaldybeg, Ardfarliemore, Ferlegar, Rawer, Dalrawer, 
Glassie, Kinnaldie, Glengorlantyne, Comrie, Auchilles, Fernchie, Dunchrock (or 
Duncroft), with the roras (Rorras) in Glenlyon,. with advocatioun of the paroch 
kirk of Weime, and the lands callit Meinzies-Croft within the town of Kinros, united 
into the baronie of Meinzies : — O.E. 35/. N.E. 140/. The 20 shilling lands of 
Edderoull : — the 4 merk land of Camsserny ; — the merk land of Tullithro ; — the 
20 shilling land of Nethermewane ; — the 5 merk land of Tiggermauch, and 2 merk 
land of Thomthogill, extending to one 10 pound land of old extent within the 
lordship of Apnadull, united into the barony of Camsserny : — E. 30/. — The 20 
shilling land of Pellan ; — the 20 shilling land of Overmewan ; — the 20 shilling of 
Dalmane ;— the merk land of Over Tulli (or Tullich), and 5 merk land'of Tullich- 

A.D. 1656.] 



dulles, with the office of baillyrarie of the lordship of Apnadull, within the lordship 
of Apnadull : — E. 12I. \%s. 6d. — The halfe kirklands of the parochine of Dull, viz., 
the land of Croft-Clauchland, Drumdewane, Kinnellie, with the mylne of Dull ; — 
half the lands of Craigdull ; — half of Auchtawie, and the personage teynds of the 
said ecclesiestick lands, within the regalitie of Saint Androis, and erected into the 
barony of Menzies. — E. 61. 13s. ^d., xxiv., 90." — 643 J. C. D. R. Retours. 

Kinnellie, now Kynachan or Foss, among the lands recorded in the 
foregoing charter, stretch from Loch Tummel, west, along the River Tummel, 
past Tummel Bridge to Crossmount. These lands gracefully slope up to the 
south from the Tummel to Coille Kynachan and the lofty Craig Kynachan, 1358 
feet high. From this part of the Menzies country a splendid view of Loch 
Tummel and part of Loch Rannoch can be had. It was here that a consider- 
able number of ancient Menzies brooches was found near Tummel bridge, at 


the roots of trees which had been blown down in 1875-8; in all, three Celtic 
brooches of silver, and other ornaments. These were doubtless the works of the 
ancient Menzies', who were miners and workers in gold and silver under the 
Crown before Bruce, when they held the whole baronies of Fortingall, Dull, 
Weem, Glendochart, Glenurchy, now partly represented by these five parishes, 

3 02 THE "RED cV WHITE" BOOK OF MENZIES. [a.d. 1657. 

with part of Badenoch, &c. &c. These brooches were used by the Highlanders 
to fasten their tartan plaids, and are works of Celtic art. We give an illustration 
of the most perfect, now in the National Museum of the Society of Antiquaries, 

" PELLAN " otherwise KlLLlN, mentioned in the foregoing, the lands and 
village of which are at the west end of Loch Tay ; adjoining them are the lands 
of " Kinnaldie," now Kinnell, on the south-west corner of Loch Tay. These 
lands extended eastward along Loch Tay to the above lands of " Tullithro," 
now Tullochean, these again joined the lands of " Overmevvan," stretching to 
" Maynus " Castle, otherwise Dall or Mains Castle, at Ardeonaig. This stretch 
of property, was on the east side of Maynus Castle, joined by the above 
Menzies lands of " Over Tulli " or Tullich East and West. TULLICH in turn 
joined these lands, and was included within the above-mentioned district of 
" Edderoull " or Eddergoll, which extended along the south-east half of Loch 
Tay side, past where Kenmore now stands, until they joined the lands of 
" Tullichdulles," now Tullichuil, also mentioned in the above charter, which then 
included the lands of Stix or Stuiceanan ; all these lands at this date formed 
the complete southern half of Loch Tay in one line, a distance of 18 to 20 
miles. The lands on the north side of Loch Tay are represented by the names 
" Achilles " and " Freuchie," which meant the whole of Drummond Hill and 
surrounding lands. 

During the wars of Montrose the MacGregors, tenants of the Menzies' on their 
Rannoch lands, had been kept so fully occupied by the distracted state of the 
country, that they were kept from acts of plunder on the surrounding country. 
They, after the flight of Charles II., once more began to lift cattle, with other acts 
which brought Chief Sir Alexander the Menzies into collision with the Government. 
He therefore threatened to turn them off his lands if they did not keep the peace. 
Representations having been made to General Monk, he wrote regarding them to 
Sir Alexander. Here is Monk's letter : — 

" General George Monck to Sir Alexander Meingeis, the Laird of Weems. 
Vunderstanding that the Lairds of McGriggour have bin ancient tenants and 
possessors of the lands of Ranough belonging to yourself, and have untill this time 
paid their duty for the same, and are yett content to give all due satisfaction and 
securitie for to pay all duties for the time to come, I desire you therefore, that 
neither yourself nor any appointed by you for the management of your affaires 
will give them any interruption in their possession of the said lands of Ranough, 
and I shall take itt as a favour done to, 

" Your very loving friend and servand, 

" George Monck. 
"Edinburgh, 30th March 1657." — Charter Room, Castle Menzies, No. 104. 

a.d. 1657-1658.] THE FIRST BARONET OF CLAN MENZIES. 303 

The letter of General Monk clearly shows that only one side of the state of 
affairs had been represented to him. Captain Daniell, who commanded the garrison 
at Perth, followed up General Monk's letter by another on the 16th of May. In 
it he reasons with Sir Alexander on behalf of Clan Gregor, as follows : — 

" Captain William Daniell to Sir Alexander Meingeis, the Laird of Weem. 
St Johnston, 16 May 1657 : — Urges on the Laird of Weem to allow the Clan 
Gregor to remain on his lands of Rannoch, from which he had resolved to remove 
them." The writer uses various arguments to this end : " that it was a matter of 
moment to the quietness of the Highlands, especially when there were some 
appearances of troubles, and this very act of the Laird had almost turned some 
of the clan desperate, as they would not suddenly be received as tenants by other 
gentlemen, and would be forced to maintain themselves by violence, a result which 
would draw upon the Laird greater inconvenience than he might be able to 
apprehend, that, should he deal rashly with the MacGregours, he might cast his 
land waste, and in all probability all Scotland not afford him tenantry to remain on 
them." He also presses him to consider " the blood and violence " that might follow 
this occasion, and to have the quarrel settled by the laws of the nation, and by the 
approbation of the Lord General, " and not by seeking to build his own house to 
sett his neighbour's house on fire." — Charter Room, Castle Menzies, No. 105. 

This last letter shows the whole object of the General was for Sir Alexander 
Menzies to keep the MacGregors sweet at all cost, in case they should be the first 
to rise in favour of the exiled king. The many plots for Charles's return then kept 
the Roundhead Government in a continual fry. 

The old Menzies tower or fortalice of Balloch was held in feu with other lands 
on Loch Tay, from the Menzies', by Campbell of Glenurchy. It had been occupied 
by General Monk, where he left a garrison for some time, which was afterwards 
withdrawn in 1658. 

Glenurchy was suspected by the Government of the old practices of his family, 
" duplicity and double-dealing." He was ordered by General Monk to find cautioners 
for his good conduct in .£2000. Glenurchy, after considerable persuasion, was suc- 
cessful in getting Sir Alexander the Menzies, as lord superior of Balloch, Cranach, 
and other lands occupied by him, as one of the cautioners. The document is in the 
Charter Room of Castle Menzies, and is as follows : — 

" Bond by Robert Andrews of Parckley, accepting his share of the liability of 
2000/., which had been accepted conjointly by himself, Alexander Menzies of that 
Ilk, and Robert Campbell of Glenlyon, as cautioners in a bond made by the Laird 
of Glenurchy, younger, to Lord General Moncke, that the house of Balloch should 
be kept safe and secure by the said Glenurchy from all enemies of the Common- 
wealth, and should be re-delivered to the Lord-General or the Commander-in-Chief 
in Scotland for the time, on seven days' demand ; or, in case of inability to defend 

3o 4 THE "RED cV WHITE" BOOK OF MENZIES. [a.d. 1658-1661. 

it, should be offered to the Lord-General or Commander-in-Chief, and kept for 14 
days. Perth, 24 July 1658." — Charter Room, Castle Menzies, No. 116. 

Castle Menzies had a garrison of soldiers put into it by the Roundhead 
Government, under General Monk, to overawe Clan Menzies and surrounding 
Highlanders. Castle Menzies was the largest, strongest, and most central fortalice 
in Strath Tay, or central Perthshire. It was carefully guarded by the garrison 
for the Commonwealth. Indeed, it being on the road to Inverness, was the key 
of the Highlands, and commanded not only Strath Tay but Loch Tay and Glen- 
lyon. The great thickness of its walls made it a place that could resist the 
artillery shot of the time. If not surprised it could hardly be taken. Sir Alexander 
the Menzies and his family were, however, closely watched, owing to the part Clan 
Menzies had taken at the battle of Worcester, where his gallant brother, William 
Menzies, was killed. This is sfcHvn by the following pass granted by General 
Monk to Sir Alexander the Menzies : — 

"Pass from General George Monk'f dated at Dalkeith, 25 August 1659, to 
allow Sir Alexander Menzies, Laird of Weem, to pass and repass about his 
occasions in Perthshire, with his servants and horses ('one exceiding the value 
in the proclamation '), hee engaging vnder his hand, to the officer commanding 
at Weems, to pay treble the value in case the said horse shall be taken from 
him by any of the enemy and employed against the Commonwealth of England." 
— Charter Room, Castle Menzies, No. 106. 

In 1660 a son and heir was born to Chief Sir Alexander the Menzies, who 
was named Robert. In the same year the restoration of the royal Stewarts was 
accomplished by the landing of Charles II. at Dover, 29th May 1660. Sir 
Alexander the Menzies suffered much with Clan Menzies for the royal cause, 
and, having now got rid of the supervision of the Commonwealth garrison, he, to 
commemorate the two joyous events, had the ceiling of the old room, in which 
Queen Mary slept during her visits to Castle Menzies, decorated with an ornamental 
centre panel, with the marriage escutcheon of the Menzies' with that of Campbell, 
his wife, and the year of the restoration of the royal Stewarts, 1660. Round the 
shield is a double moulding, and outside of it are the ROSE, THISTLE, Harp, and 
Fleur-de-lis, which were there on the last visit of Queen Mary to Castle Menzies. 

There is another relic of that year in Castle Menzies Charter Room (No. 217), 
in the shape of a copy of the libel against Archibald, Marquis of Argyle, containing 
fourteen separate charges. He was beheaded 26th May 1661, his head being stuck 
on the same spike as was Montrose's. There is also a collection of remarkable 
letters from King Charles II. to the Marquis of Argyle. Without these letters 
the Government report on the Argyle correspondence would have been incomplete. 

In the first Parliament of King Charles II., held at Edinburgh, 5th Jan. 1661, 
it is recorded in the Parliamentary Rolls that Sir Alexander the Menzies sat as 

Queen Mary's Bedroom at Castle Menzies. 
Showing Ornamented Ceiling with the Thistle, Rose, Harp, and Fleur-de-Lis. 


commissioner for Perthshire. Also Baron Thomas Menzies of Inchaffray and 
Baron Robert Menzies of Glassie were appointed commissioners for Perthshire. 
For the shire of Lanark, Baron Alexander Menzies of Culterallers. 

On the 29th March 1661 Sir Alexander Menzies of that Ilk again sat in the 
Scottish Parliament held at Edinburgh in the reign of Charles II. as commissioner 
for the sheriffdom of Perth, Alexander Menzies of Culterawes for Lanarkshire. 
Thomas Menzies of Inchaffray, and Robert Menzies of Glassie, commissioners for 
Perthshire, sat in the same Parliament. 

The tutor of Clan Gregor, having got a tack of lands in Loch Rannoch from 
Chief Sir Alexander the Menzies, proceeded to negotiate sub-letting these lands 
against the conditions of his tack, to the prejudice of Sir Alexander. The chief 
thereupon had them served with the letters, not to interfere with his rights, as 
follows :— 

" Letters of Inhibition at the instance of Alexander Menzeis of that Ilk, 
against Malcolm Douglas, alias MacGregor, tutor to James Murray, alias MacGregor 
of that Ilk, in his name as principal, with James, Earl of Tullibardine, and 
Mr John Murray of Coldown as cautioners, forbidding them to alienate the lands 
of the barony of Rannoch, or contract debts whereby the right of any of these lands, 
etc., might be apprysed from them, to the prejudice of the complainer, in violation 
of a contract made at Perth, on 6th August 1657, between the said Alexander 
Menzies, on the one part, and the said tutor and the said James MacGregor, as 
principal, on the other ; with James, Earl of Tullibardine, and Mr John Murray, 
as cautioners : in which contract it was stipulated, amoung other things, that an 
assedation should be made for a term of three years, to be followed by similar 
assedations for the same period, at the will of the granter, to the tuttor of M'Gregor, 
in name of his pupil, and to his heirs-male ; and to his sub-tenants ' of no 
heir, degree, nor conditione, being then honest countrie tennants, excluding all 
assignayes quhatsomewer ' of the lands of Rannoch, for yearly payment of 640 
merks, with twenty stone of cheese and ten stone of ' sufficient ' butter, &c. 
Dated at Edinburgh, 4 June 1661." — Charter Room, Castle Menzies, No. 191. 

Notwithstanding this prohibition the MacGregors disregarded all arrange- 
ments honourable and otherwise. In these acts they are said to have been 
secretly incited by Sir John Campbell of Glenurchy, with the view of embroiling 
Sir Alexander in such difficulties as would force him to dispose to him the lands 
he held in feu-farm from The Menzies. These were the district of Crainch on the 
north side of Loch Tay, and the small patch with fortalice of Belloch at its east 
end. Just then a mutual friend interposed between Clan Gregor's tutor and The 
Menzies, who received a letter speaking in the following terms : — 

" The Earl of Glencairn to Sir Alexander Menzies of Weem. Edinburgh, 

14 November 1661. — Advises Sir Alexander to defer the process against the tutor 


3 o6 THE "RED 6- WHITE" BOOK OF MENZIES. [a.d. 1662. 

of MacGregor and cautioner, concerning some lands in the ' Rynoch,' till the Duke 
of Athole return home, at which time they should endevour to give Sir Alexander 
all satisfaction." — Charter Room, Castle Menzies, No. 109. 

The ordinary endurance of human nature has a limit — the MacGregors had 
brought Sir Alexander to such a point that he saw only sharp measures would do 
with them. He therefore was proceeding against them, when his uncle, the Earl 
of Rothes, wrote him asking him to stay proceedings in the following terms : — 

" John, Earl of Rothes, afterwards Duke, to the Earl of Athole. Leslie, 
October 16th, 1662. Rothes, from his relation to the Laird of Weem, is pressed to 
write to the Earl of Athole, and request him, should he have an opportunity of 
meeting with the tutor of M'Grigore, who, with his cautioners, are tied by bond to 
the Laird of Weem, for a sum of money, and ' is registrat at the home,' for the 
same to signify to the tutor it would be ' best to take course for so just a debt.' " — 
Charter Room, Castle Menzies, No. no. 

The troublesome MacGregors had now almost accomplished what John 
Campbell of Glenurchy wanted, to put Sir Alexander past endurance point, but 
friends of both clans were doing all in their power to prevent a rupture, as will be 
seen from the following letter to The Chief: — 

"J. Malcolm of Balbedie to Sir Alexander Menzies, the Laird of Weem. 
Balbedie, 18 October 1662. — I am just now come from Edinburgh. My Lord took 
jorney yeasterday. Iff my Lord Athol had come to Edinburgh, he had bein 
spoken to by my Lord. Reseaw heir inclosed a letter to my Lord Athol, ane 
other to my Lord Aduocate. Efter ye hau read them ye may close them with the 
seall ye seall your own letteris, for it is only fancie. Efter ye hau delivered my 
Lord Athol's letter, iff ye find nott the effects which yea wold, latt me hear from 
yow ; and as I wreat vp weicklie to my Lord Roths, I vill acquent his Lordship 
thairof, quho, I know, will find out a way for your satisfaction." — Charter Room, 
Castle Menzies, No. 111, 

Notwithstanding the endeavours of such magnates as the Earl of Rothes and 
the Duke of Athole, it seemed almost impossible to get a peaceful settlement 
of the issue. 

The secret spring of trouble was Sir John Campbell of Glenurchy. He was the 
Campbell so notorious for his low crafty doings, whereby he for a time deprived the 
Sinclairs of their ancient title of Earl of Caithness, which led to a great deal of 
bloodshed. The Sinclairs proving their right, the Commissioners ' as a sop ' recom- 
mend him for the peace of the Highlands to get the title of Earl Breadalbane, 
which he afterwards got. Chief Sir Alexander the Menzies having discovered the 
crafty double-dealing of Glenurchy against him with the MacGregors, treated him 
with the utmost contempt, spurning his hypocritical overtures of friendship. Sir 
John Campbell, finding that he could not get any advantage over The Chief by 

a.d. 1663-1664.] THE FIRST BARONET OF CLAN MENZIES. 307 

oily protestations of innocence or friendship, resolved to try and turn his own 
spouse against Sir Alexander. By what mean, lying, and misrepresentation he 
planned this is shown by his letter to Lady Menzies, who, being a Campbell and 
his sister, he hoped thereby easily to sow the seeds of strife in the very home of 
The Menzies. His letter reads to the following effect : — 

" Sir John Campbell of Glenurchye, afterwards Earl of Breadalbane, to his 
sister, Lady Weem [Agnes Campbell]. Edinburgh, 1 August 1663." A long but 
generous complaint of the position his brother-in-law, Sir Alexander Menzies, the 
Laird of Weem, had taken against him. " I never expected to have so sadd ane 
occasion to wreatt to yow, which should give any grounds of prejudice betuixt 
your husband's familie and ours, who has lived these so many scoar of years in so 
near and intimatt nighbourhood, and that in your tym and myne (when the tye 
is strangest and the obligation greatest) there should be any prejudice is my 
great trouble. 

" Sister, it would taike vp mor paper then I can wreatt to express my resent- 
ments for so baise, so vnworthie, and so vnhappie ane accident as hes at this tyme 
occasiond and been the rease of this which I abhorre from my soul, and would to 
God it could have been prevented, and I wish it may be remidied." 

He then speaks of his endeavours to reconcile Menzies, having sent to him 
to speak with him, but received but slights and reproaches, and all this he suffered 
for her cause, and after urging upon his sister to use her influence, adds — " Yow 
have but the halfe of the work to doe, for although I have traduced with accession, 
reproached with ignominious expressions, yitt all these I pass as effects of passion, 
from uich I bliss God I am free, and assurs yow that I am as inclinable and 
disposed as yow would wish me." — Charter Room, Castle Menzies, No. 112. 

All this had but one motive in view — self — that Glenurchy might get taks of 
the lands of Rannoch, as soon as the MacGregors, for not paying their rents at 
his instigation, were put out of them. The disdain with which Sir Alexander 
treated his sneaking advances was richly deserved. 

Sir Alexander, notwithstanding the overtures on behalf of the MacGregors, 
had a mind of his own. He kept the MacGregors in their own place with a firm 
hand. He saw they were being made the tools of the Campbells again, as they 
had been before, to the great loss of lands to the Menzies', and the persecuting of 
the MacGregors, who might have been exterminated had it not been for Clan 
Menzies giving them shelter. No sooner did they find themselves in possession of 
their liberties than they allowed themselves to become the willing instruments 
of the enemies of both clans, for no friendship of a Campbell ever brought good 
to a Menzies or a MacGregor. It was in these circumstances that Sir Alexander 
received the following letter : — 

" The Earl of Tullibardine to Sir x^lexander Menzeis, the Laird of Weyme. 

X 2 

3 o8 THE "RED 6- WHITE" BOOK OF MENZIES. [a.d. 1665. 

Tullibardine, 28 April 1664. Promises to meet with the Tutor of M'Gregor in a 
few days, and seek to further the payment of the duties of Rannoch." — Charter 
Room, Castle Menzies, No. 114. 

The firmness of Sir Alexander had so far had a good effect, but almost with 
each other came the news of more depredations by the MacGregors, who were 
" Menzies men," as this request from his kinsman shows : — 

" The Earl of Rothes to the Laird of Weyme. Lesly, April 28th, 1664. Desiring 
him to assist in the recovery of 24 oxen and 16 'keyne' that had been stolen by 
night from the Laird of Cushnie, a vassal of Rothes, especially as some of those 
connected with the crime were Menzies men." — Charter Room, Castle Menzies, No. 1 1 5. 

On the 2nd of September 1665 Chief Sir Alexander the Menzies was created 
a Knight Baronet. The words of the patent are : — 

" hi memoriam revocantes multa prceclara nobis, nostrisque illustrissmis 
progenitoribus, per dilectum nostrum Dominum Alexandrian Menzies de eodem, 
equitem auratum, ejusque pra?decessores, prcetita & peracta, et gravia damna 
lis illata. Quinetiam, eum esse philarchum and principem Clarce families 
cognomine Menzies, in hoc regno nostro Scotics" &c. 

Translation : — In memorable consideration of the losses of life and property 
so nobly sacrificed for our illustrious ancestors, by those of our beloved Lord 
Alexander Menzies of Menzies, truly, certainly splendid, and in the same manner 
as his praiseworthy forefathers, and to continue the dignity they attained. He is 
placed in the fifth gracious position, and is adorned with the badge and Chief of 
Knight Baronet of the distinguished family (and race) of the surname of Menzies, 
descending in future as Lords of our native Scotia. 

On the patent of Baronetcy being granted it was brought to Scotland by 
the Earl of Rothes, who sent the following notice to The Chief: — 

" Henry Macky (endorsed as ' Secretray to the Earl of Rothes ') to Sir 
Alexander Menzies. October 4th, 1665. Honored Sir, — Thes are only to give 
yow the troble as to let you know that I brought doune your patent, to be 
Knight Barranate, under his Maiestie's hand, and it is in my Lord's custodie, 
who, for a word of yourselff, will order it to passe the Great Seale ; and it is 
only proper that his Grace give it you out in his own hand." — Charter Room, 
Castle Menzies, No. 116. 

Chief Sir Alexander the Menzies had, since the stay of Charles II. at Castle 
Menzies, kept upon friendly correspondence with the king, who wrote to him the 
following letter, giving him an outline of the latest news, in 1665 : — 

" His Majesty to Sir Alexander Meingeis, Bart., the Laird of Weem. Oxford, 
17 October [and Holyroodhouse, 23 October] 1665 : — States that the Bishop of 
Munster's envoy would receive supply for the prosecution of the war, as his Majesty 
had promised, and that ' the Stats of Holland are advysed to take caire of ther 

a.d. 1 666-i 668.] THE FIRST BARONET OF CLAN MENZIES. 309 

prisoners 20 days hereafter, in respecte some of them hes misrepresented the 
civilities done to their prisoners, ther being now in custodie 3000. His Majesty 
approved of the Earl of Sandwich taking some goods out of two East India prizes, 
and the whole council of war was very well satisfied with his conduct. The Dutch 
were off the English coast." — Charter Room, Castle Menzies, No. 117. 

The difficulties of the MacGregors having calmed down, a meeting was 
arranged between Sir Alexander Menzies and MacGregor, with Lord Tullibardine 
as mediator. The note of the appointment sent to Sir Alexander runs thus : — 

" The Earl of Athol to Sir Alexander Meingeis, Bart., the Laird of Weyme. 
Dunkeld, nth April 1666. Intimates that Lord Tullibardine would be at Dunkeld 
on the morrow, being ' Thuirsday, the twelft instant,' for settling ' that business ' 
betwixt ' Sir Alexander ' Menzies and M'Gregor, and asks him to be present, and 
to ' bring doune my hound with yow when yow cume.' " — Charter Room, Castle 
Menzies, No. 1 1 8. 

It is interesting to note the reference to the deer-hound. This would be one 
of the old Menzies breed of stag-hounds promised as a present. 

The deer and game of Rannoch and surrounding country being often killed 
and taken away by the MacGregors, the following bond gives a great deal of light 
on the habits and life of the tenants of the Menzies' in Rannoch : — 

" Bond by a number of MacGregors, Camerons, and others, indewellers in 
the barony of Rannoch, narrating that it was complained that many of the 
Rannoch people were ' killers and daily destroyers ' of deer, roes, and wild fowl, 
and expressing the obligation of the subscribers that from that date they would 
not kill any deer or wild fowl in the forests or hills belonging to the Marquis of 
Huntly, the Earl of Athole, or Sir Alexander Menzies, their master, under a 
penalty of 100 merks toties quoties, Arharich 6, and Awillich 7. August 1667." 
Charter Room, Castle Menzies, No. . 

It would appear that as often as the MacGregors promised peace they as 
often broke their pledges. Having again done so, they got Chieftain Colonel 
James Menzies of Culdares to use his influence with Sir Alexander, to whom he 
wrote the following : — 

" Colonel James Menzies to Sir Alexander Menzies of that Ilk, Knight and 
Baronet. Burntisland, 5th Mar. 1668. With reference to the meeting with 
MacGregor to be held at Falkland on the 13th instant, the writer urges on Sir 
Alexander not to exact too much of the MacGregors for their land ; and intimates 
that the Earls of Athole and Tullibardin might become security."— Charter Room, 
Castle Menzies, No. 121. 

At this meeting, through the good services of Colonel James Menzies of 
Culdares, who was a great friend of the MacGregors, a satisfactory understanding 
was come to, as will be seen from what the Earl of Athole writes : — ■ 

3 io THE "RED & WHITE" BOOK OF MENZIES. [a.d. 1669-1671. 

" The Earl of Athole to Mr Robert Campbell. Falkland, 22 April 1668. Ex- 
presses his pleasure that there is so right an understanding between Sir Alexander 
Menzies, the Laird of Weem, and MacGregor, and wishing Campbell to meet him 
at Dunkeld on 1 May to speak about it." — Charter Room, Castle Menzies, No. 122. 

The Highlands still continuing to be disturbed, the Government-, anxious to 
get at the root of the troubles, ordered Sir Alexander's presence, who, as chief of 
the Clan Menzies and lord of other tribes on his lands, was summoned to appear 
before the Government, who granted him the following protection : — 

" Extract protection by the Lords of the Privy Council, in favour of Sir 
Alexander Menzies of Weyme, to enable, in order to the settleing of the peace 
of the Highlands, to compear before them on the third of Mar. 1669, to find 
caution, conform to the laws of the Acts of Parliament made anent landlords and 
chieftains of clans. Said protection to endure till the 18th March of that year. 
Dated at Edinburgh, 18 February 1669." — Charter Room, Castle Menzies, No. 123. 

Sir Alexander the Menzies was again brought under the scrutiny of the 
Government through the MacGregors, the chief of whom did not face up when 
called upon, which is thus recorded : — 

"Thomas Hay [Secretary to the Privy Council] to Sir Alexander Menzies, 
Bart., of that Ilk. Edinburgh, 19th June 1669. A committee had been appointed 
to hear Athole, Perth, and Tullibardine anent the M'Gregor bond. The last 
affirmed he was bound only for the rents of the Rannoch, and there was nothing 
extant on record to make it out against him. M'Gregor had been acquainted 
with the meeting, but had not appeared, and was not to be found." — Charter Room, 
Castle Menzies, No. 124. 

On the Moor of Rannoch there was found some years ago a relic of the ancient 
Celtic Menzies' metal workers. It was a gold armlet of beautiful spiral form, 
gradually tapering from its broadest part at its centre towards each end of the 
circle, which terminate in two hooks, made so as to clasp. It may have been 
dropped on the moor by some of the caterans in their flight from the hand of 
justice, either at the time when Castle Menzies was sacked, or during the intense 
troubles narrated in the foregoing. A cast of it is preserved in the Scottish 
National Museum of the Society of Antiquaries, Edinburgh. The illustration is 
a full-sized engraving of the Menzies' gold armlet of Rannoch. 

One evening in the spring of 1671 a number of gentlemen, including the 
Lairds of Lochnell and Lochbuie and Chieftain Colonel James Meingeis of 
Culdares and Meggernie Castle in Glenlyon, were assembled in the house of John 
Rowat in Inveraray, conversing about certain private concerns, when, some difficulty 
arising, and the candle having gone out, some one fired a shot, whereby the Laird 
of Lochnell was killed. This could not but be a fact of considerable importance 
at Inveraray, as Lochnell was the nearest relative of the Earl of Argyle after 

A.D. 1 67 I.] 



his brother, Lord Neil. It was soon ascertained, by the confession of one Duncan 
MacGregor, who was present on the occasion, that he had fired the fatal shot ; 
yet the Earl thought proper to detain Colonel James Menzies of Culdares in 
durance vile, notwithstanding his protestations of innocence and his being in 
reality grieved as a friend for the death of the murdered gentleman. 

This case is perhaps chiefly worthy of notice on account of the traits of clan 
feeling which it brought out. Colonel Meingeis of Culdares represented his case 
to the Privy Council as one of the greatest hardship. Here he was a prisoner 
in a strange country — inaccessible to his friends, remote from the advice of 


lawyers — about to be subjected to a tribunal, the head of which was a near 
relative of the deceased, and where no assize of barons, his own compeers, could 
be had. The defunct, moreover, was so related to all the gentlemen of that 
country, and so generally beloved, that an impartial verdict was evidently not 
to be hoped for. Indeed, " he finds it very unsafe for him to pass to the knowledge 
of ane assize in these places." He was, however, most willing to abide a severe 
and legal trial at Edinburgh, where he may have the opportunity of lawyers, and 
a fair and impartial proceeding. On the case being represented at proper quarters, 
the Council ordered the Earl of Argyle before them, to show cause why Colonel 
James Meingeis of Culdares should not be sent to Edinburgh for trial. 

3 i2 THE "RED &■ WHITE" BOOK OF MENZIES. [a.d. 167 1. 

The first that Sir Alexander heard of the imprisonment of Colonel James 
Menzies was by the receipt of the following letter : — 

" Alexander MacNaughtan of Dundaraw [address wanting] to Sir Alexander 
Menzies, Bart. Dunduraw, April 1, 1671, 

" Much honored, 

" I find it my deutie to advertyse youe of ane sad accident 
that is latlie falline out at Inverary. Your coussine, Collonell Meinzies, was 
yesternight drinking with the Laird of Lochineall and yung Lochbuy. Being eftir 
cups, Lochbuy offered to beat the Collonell. The candill went out, ther was ane 
pistoll discharged, and Lochineall was shott deid through the heide. When the 
candill was lighted, Lochbuy and Inchonnell, being Lochineall's sons-in-laue, 
thought to have killed the Collonell, but Inerliver and other gentellmen who were 
present did not permitt theme. My lord was advertysed, who cam presentlie and 
apprehended all the company. Collonell Menzies denyes the fact, but it is geiuen 
out that he is the actor. The most pairt of the name of Campbell ar to be utt 
Inveraray this night. I feire the Collonell will gett harde measure if ther be not 
ane tymlie preventione. I sent tuyce this morning to try if might have accesse to 
hime, but all to noe purpose. I wish you wold presentlie obtaine ane ordour from 
the Lord Chanclor to bring Collonell Meinzies to Edinburgh to his tryall ; for if 
he suffer ane jury att Inverary youe may conclude him lost, and in the meane 
tyme it wer goode that sume advocatt wer sent hither in all heast to see faire 
play ; possibile, my lord may not prove wiolent, yeite I feire the worst. I beg ane 
thousand pardones for presuming to prescryve rueles to your Lordship ; my intrest 
makes me comitt such impertinences. I have not advertysed his Lady, but I wish 
youe cause sume freinde doe it. I shall add noe more, but that I ame, much 

" Your most humble Servant, 

" A. McNachtane." 
— Charter Room, Castle Menzies, No. 125. 

MacNaughtan proved a real friend to Colonel Menzies, and carefully watched 
the course of events, ready to take advantage of the first news to send it to Sir 
Alexander Menzies. It was indeed a terrible fix he was in. MacNaughtan thus 
writes the chief: — 

"Dundaraw, April 1, 'att ten acloak at night.' 

" Much honored, 

" Since the wryting of my last I have, I thank God, receaved 
good newis. Ane servant of Collonell Meinzies called McGrigar is found to be the 
acter. He hes confest the slaughter, and declares that he did it without the 
advyce of any persone ; but being drunk, as they wer all, and seeing Lochbuy 
offering to abuse his master, he shot att hime with ane littill short peice he caryed 


loadined with draps. He missed Lochbuy and killed Lochineall. The yung 
mane, being informed that his master was accused for the slaughter, did most 
ingenouslie, without examinatioune, acknowledg the guilt, wherupon he was taken 
out of the Tolbuith, wher he was prissoner to the Castell and putt in irones. 
Howevir I wish Collonell Meinzies wer gottine out vpon bale, leist he be wronged ; 
but I hop, being my Lord's prissoner, he will protect hime. I will as yeit indeavor 
to fyng out sume way to heire frome the Collonell, and will advertise yowe of all 
he desyres ; but it is requisit youe send down sume vnderstanding mane who may 
have accesse to hime. I shall add noe mor, but that I ame, 

" Your most humble Servant, 

" A. MacNachtane." 
— Charter Room, Castle Menzies, No. 1 26. 

Through the influence of Sir Alexander the Menzies and other friends, 
the colonel was set free again, and the matter cleared up. 

The MacGregors, joined by the MacDonalds of Glencoe and Kippoch, took 
forcible possession of a part of Rannoch, and "squatted" on these lands, driving out 
the other peaceable tenants and committing all kinds of outrage, against whom Sir 
Alexander had the following commission granted him to proceed against them : — 

" Commission of fire and sword under the signet by King Charles the Second 
and Lourds of Council [Rothes as Chancellor, Caithness, Douglas, Argyll, Airlie, 
Teweeddale, Annandale, Kincardin, and Halcartoune], to Sir Alexander Menzees 
of Weyme, John Campbell, younger of Glenurchy, Sir James Campbell of Lawers, 

and Campbell of Glenlyon, to apprehend and proceed with fire and sword 

against [Ronald] M'Donald of Fersett, Alexander and Archibald M'Donald, his 
brethren, Donald M'Donald, alias ' the Halkit-Stirk,' Angus M'Olaig and Donald 

his brother, M'Donald, sons of ' Halkit-Stirk,' the Laird of M'Gregor, Duncan 

Roy M'Osham. They had been declaired rebells for not having compeared before 
the Lords on the 27th July immediately preceding, to ' answer for their assistants 
and complices, endering the lands of Ranach, and by force and violence taken 
possession of a part of the said Sir Alexander Menzees his lands, and manteaning 
of the same by force of armes, and committing of divers other outrages,' and, 
notwithstanding letters of denouniation, the narrative relates, they not only 
continued in this violent possession of the lands of Ranach, but openly repaired to 
kirk and market, as if they were 'free leidges.' Dated Edinburgh, 1 August 1671. 

" The letters of denounciation of the 27th July show that the MacDonalds and 
MacGregors had entered Menzies' lands in June, driven out his tenants, settled 
their goods, sent forth scouts and posted sentinels ; and in this same month of June 
a party of sixteen or eighteen had attacked some merchants belonging to the 
Laird of Ardgower and places adjacent, seized and broken their swords, and taken 
the more desirable portion of their goods." — -Charter Room, Castle Menzies, No. 219. 

3 '4 THE u RED & WHITE" BOOK OF MENZIES. [a.d. 1672. 

The MacGregors, notwithstanding the endeavours of friends, could not be 
brought to live peaceable lives, to cultivate the land or to pay rent. They, to 
strengthen their hands, called in the aid of the Glencoe and Keppoch MacDonalds, 
at this time among the most noted of Highland caterans, and with their aid 
forced out the peace-abiding natives of Rannoch. All these acts of lawlessness on 
the part of the MacGregors were just what the Campbells wanted, who readily 
accepted a commission from the Government of fire and sword against them. The 
friendship existing between Chief Sir Alexander the Menzies and the Earl of Athole 
at this time is indicated by what happened. A party of the Menzies' had to pass 
through the country of the Stewarts on some business, when, for some unknown 
reason, the Stewarts suddenly sprang upon and surrounded them, and having 
surprised and overpowered the Menzies', took their arms and cast them into prison. 
The Earl of Athole having received notice of this, at once wrote the following letter 
to Stewart at Ballachen, ordering him to set them free and return their arms : — 

" Letter — John Murray, second Earl (afterwards Marquis) of Athol, to Patrick 
Stewart of Ballaquhan. Edinburgh, 23 Jan. 1672. Very much dissatisfied with a 
riot committed by the Stewarts, therefore desires Stewart of Ballaquhan to send a 
party of men to apprehend and imprison them till they find caution. Not only 
Thomas Menzies, whom they keep prisoner, and all his friends shall be harmless 
and skeathless of them, but they and all who were with them shall compear at 
the Earl's court whenever they shall be required, and return the arms to Thomas 
Menzies and his brother, which were taken from them." — Contemporary Copy, 
Charter Room, Castle Menzies, No. 1 27. 

Stewart at once had the offenders apprehended and others of them summoned 
to appear and stand their trial at Dunkeld. He also wrote Sir Alexander Menzies 
to send the pursuers to prosecute, at the same time asking the loan of some money 
for the Royal forces, &c. His letter runs thus : — 

" Patrick Stewart to Sir Alexander Meingeis, the Laird of Weem. Logierait, 
19 April 1672. With reference to the riot referred to in preceding letter, and 
that his lordship has desired an officer to summon the two young men referred to, 
to be at Dunkeld on Monday, 22nd April 1672, and the Laird of Weem to send 
the pursuers, and his lordship will bind them to keep the peace, and as he has a 
party quartering on him, wishes 20 dollars to be sent him, and to collect the excise, 
as he has 82 soldiers to deliver at Leith, and requires all the money he can get to 
remove them." — Charter Room, Castle Menzies, No. 128. 

In the year 1672 Chief Sir Alexander the Menzies was by the Earl of Athole 
deputed to receive the king's commissioner, in his progress through Perthshire, and 
to meet him at the Bridge of Earn, near the southern bounds of his lands — the 
notice of which runs : — 

"John, Earl of Athole to Sir Alexander Meingeis, the Laird of Weem. 

a.d. 1672-1685.] THE FIRST BARONET OF CLAN MENZIES. 315 

Canongate, 24 July 1672. Giving him notice to wait on the Lord Commissioner at 
the Bridge of Earn, on Saturday, 3rd August next, on his progress to the shire of 
Perth."- — Charter Room, Castle Menzies, No. 1 30. 

The MacGregors having kept quiet for several years, again committed some 
robberies, regarding which Sir Alexander received the following from the Marquis 
of Huntly : — 

" George, fourth Marquis of Huntly [created Duke of Gordon] to Sir 
Alexander Meingeis, the Laird of Weem. Boog, 18 May 1677. Desires an 
amicable settlement of the quarrel that had arisen from the stealing of horses from 
some of Huntly's friends by the tenents of the Laird of Weem." — Charter Room, 
Castle Menzies, No. 131. 

Sir Alexander the Menzies, Bart., of that Ilk, sat in the Scottish Parliament, 
held at Edinburgh on the nth July 167S, as a commissioner for the Sheriffdom of 
Perth. Reign of Charles II. 

On the accession of King James II. of Britain to the Crown of his brother 
in 1685, that event seemed favourable to the plans of Argyle and other banished 
noblemen to make a descent on the Scottish coast and raise the standard of 
rebellion. Argyle had never ceased to keep up a correspondence with his friends 
and leading followers in Argyleshire. On the Government discovering the inten- 
tion of Argyle to land in his own bounds, preparations were made to resist any 
attempt to raise the flag of revolt. The assistance of Chief Sir Alexander the 
Menzies and his son, Captain Robert, with about 100 picked Highlanders of the 
Clan Menzies, was solicited by the King's Lieutenant by the following letter : — 

" John, first Marquis of Athole, to the Lairds of Weem, elder and younger. 
Tullib[ardine], 8 Aug. 1684. The Marquis intimates that he had received from 
his Majesty a Commission of Lieutenancy, and desires the Lairds of Weem to have 
fourscore of their best and ablest men armed with guns and swords, to be in 
readieness on twenty-four hours notice to follow him into Argyle with eight 
days provision, of which he shall have due notice." — Charter Room, Castle 
Menzies, No. 132. 

This force joined Athole's brigade and marched into Argyle, and as declared 
in the proclamation forced Argyle's friends to give sureties, but on returning were 
again called out in the month of March, by the following letter : — 

" The Marquis of Athole to the Lairds of Weem, elder and younger. 
Dunkeld, 31 Mar. 1685. Desires them to furnish one man out of every 4.0s. 
land belonging to them, well armed with guns, swords, and four days loan, under 
the command of some discreet ' pretty man,' and to meet his men at the ford of 
Lyon, on the 7th April next, where he has a general rendezvous, whence they were 
to march to the shire of Argyle and Tarbet, under the command of the Laird of 
Ballechan." — Charter Room, Castle Menzies, No. 133. 

316 THE "RED &> WHITE" BOOK OF MENZIES. [a.d. 1685-1689. 

News having arrived that Argyle had entered his own country, a further request 
for more men was made on Chief Sir Alexander the Menzies and Captain Robert, 
his son. This was made by a letter from the Marquis of Athole, as follows : — 

"Marquess of Athole to the Lairds of Weem. Dunkeld, 21 May 1685. 
Warrant for the Laird to call all the fencible men between sixty and sixteen to 
meet at the ' fuird ' of Lyon, on 25th instant, with arms and twenty days ' loan,' 
to march into the shire of Argyll on his Majesties service." — Charter Room, Castle 
Menzies, No. 134. 

The chief and junior chief called out about 500 of Clan Menzies and joined 
Athole at the ford of Lyon ; they then marched toward Dumbarton. Argyle, who 
had received money from a rich widow of Amsterdam, bought a ship, arms, and 
ammunition. He then sailed for Scotland, where he landed. After finding his 
way into Argyleshire he was joined by about 800 Campbells, who with other 
portions brought up his force to 2500 men. He then attempted to get to the 
Lowlands, but the forces under the Duke of Gordon in the north, and those on 
the east under the Marquis of Athole, consisting of Clan Menzies and other 
Perthshire clans, so pressed upon him that on passing Dumbarton his army was 
compelled to keep the hills and march by night. Argyle's position now became 
desperate — the Campbells, his own clan, deserted him, and he was left with less than 
500 men, and like a Campbell he in turn deserted his friends who had stuck to him. 
He made his escape disguised as a beggar, but was captured, brought to Edinburgh 
and beheaded, his head being stuck on the same pike as was the great Montrose's. 

After the flight of King James II. of Great Britain, the royal standard of the 
exiled king was raised by the chivalrous Viscount Dundee, who on leaving 
Edinburgh to send the firey cross round the Highland clans, said to a friend in 
answer to the question, Where was he going? " Wherever the spirit of Montrose 
shall direct." Dundee soon found himself at the head of a considerable army, 
with which after many marches, sometimes pursuing, sometimes retreating against 
General Mackay, the first stage of the war was concluded without a decisive battle. 
Immediately after Dundee's call to the royal clans to arm and come out, he was 
joined by the Aberdeenshire Menzies', under Chieftain Menzies of Pitfodels, and 
also by Chieftain Major Duncan Menzies, each with a body of followers. These 
Menzies' stuck to the last to Dundee and the royal cause. On the other hand, 
the Chief Sir Alexander the Menzies and his son, Junior Chief Captain Robert 
Menzies, took the side of General Mackay and the Protestants. 

On the 26th of July 1689 General Mackay left Perth at the head of an army 
of 4500 veteran soldiers and a fair force of cavalry. With this force he proceeded 
to renew the war, and just before starting he despatched a messenger to Chief Sir 
Alexander the Menzies, and specially to his son Captain Robert Menzies, asking 
him to procure scouts for him. Here is General Mackay's letter: — 


"St Johnston, 26 July 1689. General Hugh Mackay for the Laird of Weems, 
younger. I recieved yours of last night at ten the cloak. I doe not beleeve that 
Dundie is neare, though I wish he were, let his forces be what they will. I forgot 
to speak to you to send out men of inteligence, which I pray you to doe. I would 
take on 9 or 10 persons in pay during this expedition at such a rate as they may 
be content, for guides and inteligence, which I pray you to look out for, and that 
they be men who know the country perfectly well ; but faile not vpon recepte 
hereof to send towards the enemy for sure inteligence and where they are. The 
persons I shall pay as you shall juge raisonable. I shall dispach my march as 
much as possible. 

I am, Sir, your most humble servant, 

" H. Mackay. 

" I march just now." — Charter Room, Castle Menzies, No. 138. 

Mackay pushed on to Dunkeld, where at midnight he received notice of the 
approach of Dundee from Sir Alexander. Next morning, 27th July 1689, at 
daybreak, he proceeded in the direction of the Pass of Killiecrankie. 

During his march Mackay was joined by the young chief, Captain Robert 
Menzies, at the head of over 100 Highlanders of the Clan Menzies. The old 
chief, Sir Alexander the Menzies, was too old to take the field, and therefore 
remained at Castle Menzies to make preparations in case the doings of Montrose 
should be repeated by Dundee. His sons, Captain Robert and Captain James 
Menzies of Comrie, with the clan, fought at the battle of Killiecrankie, where 
General Mackay's English and Dutch army was totally defeated. But Mackay 
with a few of his men saved themselves in the descending darkness, by flight over 
the mountain bye-paths to Castle Menzies, where they knew the old chief, Sir 
Alexander the Menzies, would do all in his power to save them from being cut off. 

When retreating after the battle of Killiecrankie, says John Mackay, in 
the general's memoirs : — 

" The general's first concern was how to conduct his handful of men thus 
preserved, and lead them in such a direction as should best secure their ultimate 
safety; for ' sauve qui pent' was not his maxim. He felt that should they now be 
suffered to fall into the hands of the enemy through any neglect or injudicious 
orders on his part, it would at once lower his professional character and injure the 
great cause entrusted to his care. His officers recommended, and even urged his 
immediate return to Perth by way of Dunkeld ; but this route he without hesitation 
rejected, as it would expose him to the insults of his inveterate enemies, the 
Athole men', and to what, in his present defenceless state, he dreaded still more — 
the attacks of Dundee and his horse ; for he knew n-ot yet that his noble opponent 
had fallen in the battle. He resolved, therefore, to quit this part of the country, 
and turning to the right strike across the mountains to Strathtay, through the 

3 i8 THE "RED cV> WHITE" BOOK OF MENZIES. [a.d. 1689. 

country of the Menzies', and from thence towards Stirling, by way of Castle 
Menzies and Drummond Castle, where he had a garrison. The road to Strathtay 
(if road it might be called) he was aware was difficult, if not dangerous to cavalry, 
but he hoped the few horse he had with him would be able singly to extricate 
themselves from the bogs and marshes with which it was obstructed, while, to 
such a large body as Dundee's comparatively was, these presented an insuperable 

" They had not advanced above two miles from the river when they overtook 
Ramsay, with 150 of his runaways (as the general calls them), almost without 
arms, and in utter dismay, not knowing well where they were, or whither going. 
Joining this little party to his own he proceeded towards a hut in which he espied 
a light, and requested information from the inmates as to the nearest way to 
Castle Menzies and localities of the country. They were at first thrown into 
consternation at the appearance of men in arms, but this soon subsided when 
Mackay, softly addressing them in their native (Gaelic) language, assured them 
he meant no harm, and should depart as soon as he received the information 
he requested. This being given, and compared with his pocket map, he was 
enabled to form a correct idea of the country, and proceeded on his march. He 
then directed his course to Weem Castle, or Castle Menzies, the seat of Sir 
Alexander Menzies, the Laird of Weem, a friendly chief, whose son, with 100 of 
his clan, had joined him the preceding day. 

"Before the morning began to dawn they approached Strathtay, and here the 
appearance of men in hostile array caused fresh alarm. The people of the district 
taking them for the opposite party, of whose habitual depredations they stood in 
great awe, ran to and fro as if in danger of their lives, as well as in fear of 
their property. Ramsay's men, being unarmed and broken in spirit, were in 
their turn thrown into consternation, and, dispersing, would have escaped to the 
hills had not the general and his officers, with their pistols in their hands, threatened 
and driven them back, after in vain trying to convince them that their safety con- 
sisted in keeping together. Notwithstanding these exertions of their officers, 100 
or more made good their escape, and, as it was afterwards discovered, were knocked 
on the head and stripped by the men of Strathtay. 

" Before morning the general reached Castle Menzies, or, as it was often called, 
' Weem Castle,' where he and his men were hospitably entertained by the good old 
laird, ' Sir Alexander the Menzies, the first Baronet,' who furnished them with such 
an hasty repast as their numbers and the shortness of the time permitted. He pro- 
ceeded from thence to Drummond Castle, through a country in confusion and 
uproar ; and after a short halt, prosecuted his march to Stirling, where he arrived 
on the evening of Monday, 29th July 1689." — Life of Lieut.-General Mackay. 

The young Chief Captain Robert Menzies acted with great bravery at the 

A.D. 1689.] 


3 l 9 

battle of Killiecrankie, where he won the admiration of General Hugh Mackay, with 
whom he was ever afterwards a firm friend. 

General Mackay himself says of his retreat, after the battle of Killiecrankie : — 
" Marching them off, as he had concluded, he met in the obscurity, about two 
miles off the field of battle, with Colonel Ramsay, who had kept up the matter of 
150 runaways altogether almost without arms, and knew not in the world how he 
should best get them off, whom the General having joyn'd into his party, continued 
his way up a little river, which fell into that which he had crossed before, till he 
came to some little houses where he saw a light, and having got the man of the 
house, enquired of him concerning the ground and the way to Strath Tay and the 
Laird of Weem's lands (the chief of the Menzies' and the Menzies country), who 
was our friend, his eldest son having been in the action with a company of IOO 
Highlanders, which he levied for their Majesties' service. The countryman, having 
sufficiently informed him of all his demands, and guessing himself at the situation 
of the country by the map so far that he could not carry him far out of the 
way, he crossed the second river, and passed ill ground over hills and bogs ' to 
Weem.' " — Life of Lieut.-General Mackay. 

The poet Miller refers to the country of the Menzies', and the refuge and rest 
afforded to the defeated General Mackay after the battle of Killiecrankie by Sir 
Alexander Menzies at Castle Menzies, in the following lines : — 

' But fainter glows the evening sun, 
And o'er Glen Lyon's mountains dun, 
Light fleecy clouds begin to spread 
The curtains of his saffron bed. 
So still's the air you'd almost hear 
Yon hillside streamlet gushing clear 
Like silver doun its tangled dell 
Beyond Camserney's sheltered vill. 
Or list the wheeling goshawk scream 
Around the pine-clad craigs of Weem. 

Romantic cliffs ! how grand they soar, 
How dark with fir, with age how hoar, 
How green with ash, beech, and oaken bough, 
While stately on the lawn below 
Old Castle Menzies rears its head 
Amid a proud baronial shade 
Of ancient elms. How doubly blest 
Had been old vanquished Mackay's rest, 
When through the wilds he took his way 
On Killiecrankie's fatal day." 

Major Duncan Menzies of Fornoth was another Menzies chieftain who fought 
hard in the royal cause on the side of Dundee. He is thus spoken of in conjunction 
with "John Clelland of Faskin, as 'ready of hand.' He was early in the field, and 
took part in the raid on Perth and Dundee. Colt saw him at Perth when he was 
taken prisoner ; and when Lieut. Nisbet was made prisoner at Killiecrankie by 
Major Grahame of Balwhapple, Clelland and Duncan Menzies were at his elbow. 
Colt saw him after the failure at Dunkeld conversing with the Laird of MacNaughtan 
at Duart, and he was wearing his sword. His name occurs in the proclamation 
by William and Mary, 18th July 1689." — Scottish Hist. Soc, vol. iii., p. 161. 

Shortly after the battle of Killiecrankie General Mackay ordered that Castle 

3 2o THE "RED & WHITE" BOOK OF MENZIES. [a.d. 1689-1694. 

Menzies, which was a strong baronial fortress right in the heart of the Highlands — 
the old heart or centre of Scotland being visible from its windows — should be 
garrisoned. To this effect the Duke of Hamilton wrote the young Chief Robert 
Menzies : — 

" William, Duke of Hamilton, to the Laird of Weem, younger. Edinburgh, 
19 August 1689. The Lords of his Majestie's private Counsill aveing thought fitt 
to ordour Major-General Laneir to march into Athole, and to garisone your house, 
and to attack the Castle of Blair, and thereafter to march to Findlayrig, and to 
put garisones in these places, yow are desired to goe alongest and concur with 
him : And they have write him to intrust yow with the command of that garisone 
to be put in the Weeme." — Charter Room, Castle Menzies, No. 136. 

This letter from the Duke of Hamilton was followed by an official commission 
to the young Chief Robert Menzies to be captain of the independent company of 
a hundred Highlanders of Clan Menzies which he had raised and which was with 
him at the battle of Killiecrankie. There they appear to have conducted themselves 
so much to the satisfaction of General Mackay that, on his informing his Majesty 
William III. of the undaunted coolness and bravery of the young chief, he ordered 
a commission to be sent to him, which is dated 23 August 1689, only about twenty- 
three days after Killiecrankie, and is the first commission given for an independent 
company of Highlanders. 

Shortly after Killiecrankie and as soon as could be arranged, General Mackay 
selected Castle Menzies to be one of a number to be garrisoned to keep the 
Highlanders in check, under Cannon, Dundee's successor. As soon, "therefore, 
and as the rains having somewhat abated soon after his (General Mackay's) return 
to Perth, he detached Lord Cardross with 200 men, to the head of Loch Tay, and 
his lordship without opposition established himself in garrison at Finlarig, then let 
to Campbell of Glenurchy. Drummond Castle had been already secured, and 
other garrisons having now been planted at Castle Menzies, Cumbusmore, Cardross, 
and Drumnakill, the chain of communication was completed, from the remotest 
extremities of Perthshire to the town of Inverness." — Life of Lieut. -Gen. Mackay. 

It appears that after the accession of William and Mary several of the old 
clergy were deposed as early as possible. Among those was the chaplain of the 
Auld Kirk o' Weem, regarding which the first entry in the old register of the 
parish of Weem is the following : — 

" 1692. Since Mr James Strachin, minister of Weem, was deprived. For primas 
collected and counted in the presence of the Laird ' Sir Alexander Menzies, Bart, 
of Menzies,' before James Campbell, minister of Monyvard, came here to preach at 
several times, the sum of 5s." — This Register is now in the Register House, Edinburgh. 

Chief Sir Alexander the Menzies was in the year 1693, reign of William and 
Mary, one of the commissioners to the Scottish Parliaments for the shire of Perth ; 


as such he sat in the Parliaments held at Edinburgh, 18th April 1693, and 
2nd June 1693. In both of these Parliamentary Rolls his name is entered thus : — 
" Sir Alexander Meinzies of that Ilk." He also sat in the Parliament of 5th June 
1693. He is then entered "Sir Alexander Menzies of that Ilk." 

Chief Sir Alexander the Menzies died in the month of March 1694, born 
about 1623 ; he was therefore between 71 and 72 years of age. By his wife Agnes 
Campbell of Glenurchy, he had two sons and three daughters : — ■ 

1st. Captain Robert the Menzies, fiar of Menzies ; for his father Sir Alexander 
survived him. 

2nd. Captain James Menzies of Comrie, who, during the minority of his 
brother's son, Sir Alexander, the second Baronet, acted as Chief " Tutor." 

1st. Susan Menzies, married Lord Neill Campbell, second son of Archibald, 
Marquis of Argyle ; and after his death she married Colonel Alexander Campbell 
of Finnab. 

2nd. Jean Menzies, who married Mungo Campbell of Netherplace. 

3rd. Emilia Menzies ; she married Thomas Fleming of Moness. 


Chieftain Thomas Menzies of Inchaffray, who sat in the Scottish Parlia- 
ments of Charles II. On his lands near Crieff are the remains of Inchaffray 
Abbey, and a little north of it is the old Menzies Castle of Inchaffray, his 

Chieftain William Menzies of Carse, as representing the shire of 
Forfar, sat in the Scottish Parliaments of Charles I., 18th April 1648, when 
he was appointed one of the Commissioners of War for the defence of the 

Chieftain Thomas Menzies of Fergarmoch was one of the Parliamentary 
representatives of Perthshire, in the Parliament of Charles I., 22nd July 1644. 

John Menzies, who as the representative of North Berwick sat in the 
Scottish Parliament of Charles I. at Perth, 2nd July 1628. 


322 THE "RED &• WHITE" BOOK OF MENZIES. [a.d. 1694. 

CHIEFTAIN GILBERT MENZIES of Pitfodels, as representing Kincardineshire, 
sat in the Parliaments of Charles II., July 10th, 1678, and 13th May 1685. 

CHIEFTAIN THOMAS MENZIES of Kinmundie represented Aberdeenshire in 
the Scottish Parliaments of William and Mary, 1689 and 1690. 

Chieftain Major Duncan Menzies of Fornoth, who led a portion of Clan 
Menzies on the side of Dundee, with whom he fought at the battle of Killiecrankie. 
He was one of the foremost in the famous charge, where the battle-shout of Clan 
Menzies might be heard " Geal 's Dearg Gu Erath? i.e., " The Red and White for 
ever." He was one of the marked men of the then Government, who put a price 
on his capture. On the utter failure of the Jacobites to restore James to the throne, 
he went to France, and became one of the band of Scottish Highlanders who 
formed the " Private Sentinels." Sharing in their adventures, he was at the taking 
of the Island on the Rhine, where the Highlanders formed a chain, holding on by 
each other to prevent them from being carried away by the current of the river ; 
thereby crossing the river in the face of a heavy fire from the enemy, whom they 
soon drove from their stronghold, making themselves masters of the island which 
had baffled every attempt of the French. This island now bears their name. He, 
however, never returned from these wars. The grave soon closed over the whole 
of the band of brave, self-sacrificing Scotchmen, who fought for the glory of 
Scotland and her ancient kings. As he lost his life in these wars and never 
returned, his lady applied to the Commissariat of Dunkeld, and was appointed 
executrix of his estates, consisting of sums of money, debts, &c, a statement of 
which was given in by his wife, " Agnes Menzies, Lady Carneys, relict of and 
executrix." Among the sums are 1000 merks Scots from tenements owing him, 
and .£400 bond " granted by Mr George Menzies, Master of the Grammar School, 
Dundee." The testament was confirmed at Dunkeld, 10th November 1726. James 
Menzies of Culdares became caution. — Comrt. of Dunkeld, vol. iii., p. 761. 

JUNIOR CHIEF CAPTAIN ROBERT MENZIES, "Fiar" of Menzies, 55TH in Descent, and i8th 
Baron of Menzies, Lieutenant-Governor of Inverlochy Castle and Fort- William, Commander 
of Castle Menzies and Meggernie Castle, Captain of the ist Independent Company of 
Highlanders, and Founder of the 42ND (The Black Watch). 

B. 1660. D. 1692. 

From a Painting, at Castle Menzies, by G. Jamesone ffj. 

Junior Cbief Captain IRobert "(KfeiyitfeB," Ikniobt, 55tb in 
oescent as beir or "iTiar," I8tb Baron of flDen3ic0. 






BORN l660. DIED 1692. 

his father, although an old man, survived him. He, during the old age of 
his father, Chief Sir Alexander the Menzies, the first Baronet of Menzies, 
had all the responsibilities as Chief of Clan Menzies upon his shoulders. 
The duties of a Highland chief were such at that time as to put to the test the 
highest qualities of human ability in combating with the troubles which arose in the 
Highlands, on the throne of Britain being taken possession of by William and Mary. 
It was during these dark times for the Highlands and Scotland that the young 
Chief of Clan Menzies, as Nisbet says, " made an early and brilliant appearance 
in the Revolution through which he figured, he being a gentleman of great parts 
and influence," and a young man of considerable military ability. He was the first 
Highland chief to raise and arm an independent company of Highlanders of one 
hundred picked men of Clan Menzies, for the service, of the Government ; with 
these he made so good a reputation at Killiecrankie, that his example was after- 
wards followed by other Highland chiefs and gentlemen in raising such companies 
for the service of the Crown. The fame and services of these independent 
companies of Highlanders ultimately led to their being embodied into the Royal 
43rd, afterwards the 42nd Royal Highlanders, The Black Watch. 

Captain Robert Menzies was born in 1660, and married the Hon. Annie 
Sandilands, born 22nd February 1663, daughter of Walter, 6th Lord Torphichen, 
by Katharine, daughter of William, Lord Alexander, eldest son of William, Earl 
of Stirling. There is an old portrait of the young chief in the old banqueting hall 

of Castle Menzies, upon the back of which is inscribed, " Robert Menzies, eldest 

Y 2 

3 2 4 THE "RED & WHITE" BOOK OF MENZIES. [a.d. 1684-1689. 

son and heir of Sir Alexander Menzies of Menzies, married to Miss Ann 
Sandilands, daughter of Walter, Lord Torphichen (grandfather of William, Lord 
Alexander, his Majesty's Lieutenant of Nova Scotia, and predeceased his father)." 
This picture is said to have been painted by George Jamesone, the Scottish 
Vandyke, and represents him in armour, with flowing hair, in the garb of a military 
commander of the period. 

There is also a portrait of his lady hanging in the old banqueting hall of 
Castle Menzies, upon the back of which is inscribed " Mrs Ann Sandilands, 
daughter of Walter, Lord Torphichen, grand-daughter of William, Lord Alexander, 
his Majesty's Lieutenant of Nova Scotia, married to Robert Menzies, son and heir 
of Sir Alexander Menzies of Menzies." This portrait is also conjectured to have 
been painted by George Jamesone. 

On the rebellion of the Earl of Argyle, in 1684-5, the Marquis of Athole 
wrote to his father and himself, as lieutenant of the king, on 8th August 1684, 
desiring the young chief, in conjunction with his father, to have eighty of their 
best and ablest Highlanders armed to go into Argyle to crush the rising ; upon 
which the fiery cross was sent round and the young Chief Robert Menzies led 
this company of Clan Menzies for the cause of King James VII. Athole again, 
on the 31st March 1685, desired the young chief and his father to meet him with 
a certain proportion of Clan Menzies at the ford of Lyon, not far from the fortalice 
of the Menzies', Comrie Castle. They joined forces and marched against Argyle, 
who had arrived in his country and was in open rebellion ; which, terrifying his 
followers, most of whom were Campbells, they like cowards deserted their chief. 
Argyle was made prisoner and afterwards executed. 

On the throne of Britain being occupied by William and Mary the young 
chief sat in their first Parliament, in the Parliamentary Rolls of which he is thus 
mentioned : — 

" Robert Menzies, younger of that Ilk, sat in the Parliament of William and 
Mary, held at Edinburgh, 26th April 1689, as a commissioner for the shire of 

It was in the same year, 1689, that Viscount Dundee raised the royal standard 
in the Highlands, and was soon at the head of a considerable body of the clans, 
principally consisting of the MacDonalds, MacLeans, Stewarts, MacGregors, 
Robertsons, Camerons, and sections of Clan Menzies under Chieftain Major 
Duncan Menzies, the Aberdeenshire Menzies' being under Chieftain Gilbert Menzies 
of Pitfodels. These, with other clans and a small body of Irish, amounted to 
about 2500 men. Against Dundee the Government sent General Mackay, who 
hastened north and was joined by the Clans Mackay, Ross, and Rose at Inverness, 
where Dundee threatened him from Badenoch ; and Mackay, not receiving rein- 
forcements, retreated south. On receiving reinforcements he retook Inverness, 

HON. ANN SANDILANDS, LADY MENZIES, Spouse of Junior Chief Captain Robert Menzies, 
"Fiar" of that Ilk, Daughter of Walter, 6th Lord Torphichen, and Grand-Daughter 
of William, Lord Alexander, His Majesty's Lieutenant of Nova Scotia. 

b. 26th February 1663. D. about 1700. 

From a Painting, at Castle Menzies, by G. Jamesone (f). 


after which he returned to Edinburgh to push on arrangements. He returned to 
Perth on the 26th July 1689, where he learned of Dundee's march upon Athole, 
which he determined to prevent. General Mackay immediately despatched a 
messenger to the Chief Sir Alexander the Menzies and the young chief of the 
Menzies', asking them to procure nine or ten scouts and to send them out to 
ascertain the movements of Dundee, the number of his men, their condition and 
intention, and at the same time telling them that he was now ordering his army 
to march. The old chief being too aged for active service in the field, the young 
chief at once despatched his scouts to discover the movements of Dundee, and 
sent round the Menzies' country the fiery cross, upon which in a few hours he 
was surrounded by a large body of Clan Menzies at Castle Menzies. From these 
he selected 100 Menzies' to accompany him. The remainder he left to garrison 
Castle Menzies, Bolfracks Castle, Castle Comrie, Meggernie Castle, and other 
strengths, and to protect the country in case of a repetition of the acts of Montrose. 
On his scouts returning he at once despatched word of the rapid approach of 
Dundee to General Mackay, who had encamped near Dunkeld, where at midnight 
Mackay 'received his messengers with considerable alarm. He therefore, at day- 
break, 27th July 1689, proceeded in the direction of the Pass of Killiecrankie, for 
possession of which he was most anxious. On his army reaching Ballinluig the 
general was greatly encouraged by the approach of the young chief of Clan 
Menzies at the head of 100 selected clansmen, who approached with pipes playing, 
their "red and white" banner waving in the morning sun, their brilliant full-dress 
tartan " red and white " making a magnificent contrast against the dark green 
wooded heights of Logierait above Ballinluig. The flash of light from their drawn 
claymores as they turned a bend in the road completed the military picture which 
only a body of full-dressed Highlanders can make. They at once joined the 
general's army, which, on reaching the entrance to the Pass of Killiecrankie about 
ten o'clock, halted to allow the men to refresh themselves before plunging into the 
frightful chasm. Here the Junior Chief Robert Menzies was commissioned captain 
of his company of Clan Menzies by General Mackay. To support Lauder, who 
had been despatched to secure the entrance, Mackay despatched 200 men under 
the lieutenant-colonel of Leven's regiment — 100 of these were the Clan Menzies 
Highlanders — to lead the way and to show the English and Dutch an example, 
who now began to fear the awful passage. A short distance from the Pass he 
met Lord Murray, who informed him that he had left a body of men at the other 
end of the Pass, but that the greater portion of his men when called upon by 
him to join Mackay, refused, and, rushing down to the river bank, took some 
water in their bonnets and drank to the health of King James. Mackay put his 
army in motion and entered the awful Pass, not without great apprehensions, as 
a few Highlanders from the overhanging rocks could easily have crushed his whole 

326 THE "RED e^ WHITE" BOOK OF MENZIES. [a.d. 1689. 

army ; as it was, a single Highlander appeared on the other side of the torrent, 
who, levelling his gun in sight of the whole army, brought down one of Mackay's 
horsemen, almost causing a panic among the English and Dutch. On clearing 
the Pass, Mackay called a halt until the baggage was brought up, after which he 
despatched 200 men under Lauder to discover Dundee's whereabouts. Dundee 
soon appeared, and took up a position on the hills above the entrance. Mackay 
immediately took possession of an eminence near, on which he posted Lauder 
with 200 picked men, forming his left. Mackay in making his dispositions divided 
every battalion in two parts, leaving a space between each with cavalry in the 
centre, and on his right a body of men under Hastings. The whole formed in 
line. Mackay rode along the line, which extended a long way beyond that of 
Dundee, being about 5000 strong. The young chief and Clan Menzies formed 
part of the right wing front line with Clan Mackay, Ross and others, as the 
general considered it best to have as many Highlanders as he had at his command 
in the front line, to give confidence to his army and set an example of firmness. 

Whilst Mackay was thus engaged, his gallant opponent was equally busy on 
the hills above, ranging his men in battle array in one line, consisting only of about 
2500 Highlanders and a small body of horse, with which was Chieftain Menzies 
of Pitfodels. As the evening was advancing without any movement to attack by 
the Highlanders, Mackay, to provoke them to engage, discharged some small field- 
pieces, but without effect. This was followed by some skirmishing from Dundee's 
sharpshooters. Dundee, in arranging his line of Highlanders, had them in some- 
what the following order : — The Clan MacDonald on the left, Clan MacLean on 
the right ; between these were placed the Camerons, Clanranald and Glengary, 
MacDonells, Robertsons, MacGregors, Stewarts, Drummonds, M'Neils, a section of 
Clan Menzies under Chieftain Major Duncan Menzies, Mackenzies, Farquharsons, 
Grahams, and others, with a body of Irish. Both lines were without reserve force. 

After skirmishing some time, just about half-an-hour before sundown, at 
Dundee's word of command, the Highlanders proceeded down the hill to attack 
the long line of Mackay's regular troops below. The Highlanders, claymore in 
hand, advanced with their bodies bent forward so as to present as small a surface 
as possible to the fire of the enemy, the upper part of their bodies being covered 
with their targets. Upon them Mackay's army kept up a continual fire, but, 
undismayed, they steadily advanced, when, having come to close range, they 
halted for a moment, levelled and discharged their pistols, then uttering a loud 
battle-shout or the war-cry of each clan — amid which might have been distinguished 
" Geal 's Dearg Gu Brdth" the battle-shout of Clan Menzies, i.e., " The Red 
and White for ever," that moment being the supreme height of Celtic military 
enthusiasm — the clans rushed, claymore in hand, upon the veteran army of Mackay 
before they had properly fixed bayonets, with such impetuosity that the troops 


of Mackay were cut down and driven into utter confusion. The greater part 
of the English and Dutch soldiers behaved like the vilest cowards. The only 
regiments who made any stand were Leven's and Hastings', but these were 
supported by the friendly Highlanders of Clan Menzies, Mackay, Ross, and others. 
While the Highlanders were hewing down the English and Dutch, Dundee, at 
the head of the horse, attacked Mackay 's own battalion, breaking through it and 
scattering the English horsemen like chaff before them. In this charge the 
Menzies' of Aberdeenshire, under Chieftain Menzies of Pitfodels, were among 
the first. Pitfodels was particularly taken notice of by Mackay's men for his 
stalwart form, dark complexion, splendid charger and appointments, and his great 
bravery, by which he distinguished himself so much that afterwards he became one 
of the marked men for an example of the vengeance of the Government. The 
courage of the stoutest-hearted of Mackay's men did not avail. Their arms were 
insufficient to parry the tremendous strokes of the Highland claymores or broad- 
swords, dirks, and Lochaber axes, which, with a single blow, either felled their 
opponents to the earth or struck off a member from their bodies and at once disabled 
them. Mackay was himself surrounded by the Highlanders, but they, probably 
because he was a Highlander himself, did not attempt to injure him ; on getting 
clear of whom and being out of danger, he turned round, when to his surprise 
both armies had disappeared, as he says himself, " in the twinkling of an eye in a 
manner," his army being driven pell-mell down to the river Garry, where many 
of them perished. In the conflict Captain Robert Menzies, the young chief, and 
his hundred Menzies' appear to have acted very coolly, who, being Highlanders 
themselves in the Highland garb, and having many clansmen on the side of 
Dundee, were consequently not the subject of so much animosity as were the 
English and Dutch. The company of Menzies' knowing the country and keeping 
together in good order when they saw that the day was lost, did all in their power 
to stay the carnage — they, having many clansmen and friends in Dundee's army, 
were anxious to save Celtic blood ; but those who did not know the district, or who 
were English or Dutch in Mackay's army, were cut off. It was with great difficulty 
that the devoted Mackay himself got to Castle Menzies with the remains of his 
army, where he was hospitably received by the venerable old chief of Clan Menzies, 
who extended shelter and refreshment to him and the fragments of his army. 

After the battle of Killiecrankie, where several of the Clan Menzies had 
distinguished themselves on the side of the great Dundee, among whom were 
Chieftain Menzies of the Pitfodels' branch of the clan in Aberdeenshire, and 
Major Duncan Menzies, who had held a commission in the army of Charles II. 
and James VII., both of whom, by their great courage and activity that day, 
did much to gain the victory. One of their company, young Stewart of 
Ballachen, being captured some time after, became king's evidence, and, when 

328 THE "RED &> WHITE" BOOK OF MENZIES. [a.d. 1689. 

brought before the judges appointed by the Scottish Parliament, told them all 
who were at Killiecrankie. In this evidence he describes Menzies of Pitfodels and 
Major Duncan Menzies in the following manner : — 

" Charles Stewart, younger of Ballachan, aged 29 years, married, &c, solemnlie 
sworne, depones that after the Laird of Blair (the Earl of Athol) was taken 
prisoner at Perth, he saw Viscount of Dundee within a quarter of a myle, with 
about five or six score of horse in arms, and he marched two miles with them on 
foot. He saw in the same company, Maister David Graham, the Earl of 
Dumfermling, in arms ; the Earl of Buchan, Viscount Frendrought, Lord Dunkeld, 
Col. Cannon ; he saw Mr Colin M'Kenzie, uncle to the Earl of Seaforth, on 
horseback and in arms with the rebells ; he also saw Sir John'Drummond of 
Mauchanie, James Edmonstoun of Newton of Doun, Sir Ewan Cameron of 
Lochyell, and his eldest son, in arms with the rebells ; he saw Sir Donald 
M'Donald, younger of Slait, the Laird of M'Naughton, Major Wm. Graham of 
Buchaple, Sir John Cleiland of Foscan, Halyburtoun of Pitcurre ; he saw 
M'llvernock of O'ab, in arms with the rebells ; also M'Neill of Galachalie ; he saw 
the Laird of Glencoe, elder, in arms, and that he had a buff coat ; he saw Sir John 
M'Lean, and M'Lean of Lochbuy, and Sir Alex. M'Lean, called Commissar 
M'Lean ; he also saw M'Lean, younger of Ardgour, all in arms ; he saw John 
Campbell of Glendeserie, he was called Leit.-Collonel to Lochyell ; he saw the 
tutor of Clanronald ; he saw M'Donald of Glengarie ; and that he saw Farquharson 
of Inverey, in arms with the rebells, several places. Depones that he saw MAJOR 
DUNCAN Menzies, in arms with the rebells, at several places. Depons he saw a 
tall, stout, lustie, black (dark complexon) man, whom they called MENZIES OF 
PlTFODDELS, riging on a grey stoned horse in company with the rebelles, with 
sword and pistolls. Depones he saw Kinloch of Gourdie, Sir William Wallace 
of Craigie, in company with the rebells. 14th July 1690." — Acts Par., Scot., 
vol. ix., p. 59. 

In less than a month after the battle of Killiecrankie the Junior Chief 
received the official and formal commission as captain of his independent com- 
pany of Highlanders, which is as follows : — 

"Extract Commission by King William III. in favour of Robert Menzies, 
younger of Weem, to be Captain of the Independent Company. Consisting of 
100 foot sentinels, raised by himself. Hampton Court, 23 August 1689." — Charter 
Room, Castle Menzies, No. 230. 

This commission confirmed that granted on the field of battle by General 
Mackay verbally, and showed the appreciation of the services of the young chief 
and Clan Menzies at the battle of Killiecrankie by the Government. This was the 
first commission ever given for an independent company of Highlanders, and it 
was in reality the first company of The Black Watch. Following this, Mackay 


writes him, asking how many men he would require to garrison Castle Menzies. 
His letter is to this effect : — 

" General Hugh Mackay to the Laird of Weem, younger. Blair Castle, 2 Sept. 
1689. The weather has been so discouraging that the general was obliged to 
send on the English to St Johnston, and if it continued so, he was resolved to 
follow immediately. He wishes to know what number of men would be needed 
for the garrison at Weem, which he thinks should be made stronger, as no garrison 
could conveniently be placed at Finlarig." — Charter Room, Castle Menzies, No. 139. 

It being difficult to collect the cess and excise at this time owing to the 
civil war in Scotland, Mackay accordingly sent to the young chief the following, 
asking him to assist with his men the collecting of such, as follows : — 

"Perth, 30 September 1689. General Mackay orders the Laird of Weem, 
younger, to allow men from his garrison of Weem to assist the collectors of Cess 
and Excise in Perthshire in gathering the dues." — CJiarter Room, Castle Menzies, 
No. 140. 

The young chief had his governorship of Castle Menzies granted on the same 
day. This was on the recommendation of General Mackay, who saw he was 
well qualified in military tactics. The governor's commission is as follows : — 

" Commission by Major-General Hugh Mackay in favour of Captain Robert 
Menzies, younger, to be governor of the garrison in the Castle of Weem. Perth, 
30th September 1689." — Charter Room, Castle Menzies, No. 221. 

Following this, he received the additional appointment to be commander of the 
old Menzies' stronghold, Meggernie Castle in Glenlyon, belonging to the Culdares' 
branch of Clan Menzies. The substance of the commission reads as follows : — 

" Perth, 7 October 1689. General Mackay to the Laird of Weem, younger, 
Captain of an independent company, and Commander of the Castle of Weem. 
Desires him to establish a sufficient garrison in the house of Miggernie in 
Glenlyon, should the said house be capable to secure it, for the better protection 
of the country against the rebels." — Charter Room, Castle Menzies, No. 141. 

It was just about this time that Commander Menzies received a letter from 
the Duke of Hamilton, requesting him to march with General Mackay to the siege 
of Blair Castle, which was holding out for King James, and then to march with 
him to Finlarig to garrison it. With the assistance of the Clan Menzies, under the 
young chief, Blair Castle was soon reduced. 

Owing to an expected attack on Castle Menzies, of which Mackay had been 
apprised by the watchful young chief, he sent a despatch to Lord Bargany, for 
a company to proceed there at the order of Commander Menzies. This is as 
follows :— 

" Perth, 7 October 1689. Order to the Lord Bargany, Colonel of a regiment of 
foot, or whoever should be in command in his absence, to cause a company of 

330 THE "RED &r WHITE" BOOK OF MENZIES. [a.d. 1689. 

his regiment of at least 50 men, without picks, to march to the house of Weem, 
when the Laird of Weem, commander of that house, shall call for them." — Charter 
Room, Castle Menzies, No. 142. 

Soon after the above letter Castle Menzies had its defences inspected by 
General Mackay in person, who was making a tour round the different castles 
inspecting their garrisons and defences. The general, in a letter to the Duke of 
Hamilton, thus details these garrisons : — 

"I have been this 10 or 12 days in Perthshire ordering the garrisons: at 
Blair ther are 500 men ; at Finlarig 200, which is all the house is capable of till 
convenience of beding be made ; at Weemb (Castle Menzies, there are) 200 men ; 
and at Camsmore, Cardros, and Drumekill, 6 companies of the Earl of Angus's 
regiment, which is not above 600 men at present." — Letter of Major-General 
Mackay to the Duke of Hamilton, Edinburgh, nth October 1689. 

The rapid advancement of the young chief of Clan Menzies so chagrined 
the covetous Campbells that every duplicity was used by them to defeat him in 
retaining his commandership of Meggernie Castle, of which Campbell of Glenlyon 
was most anxious to get hold. This is what General Mackay says of them in a 
letter to Commander Captain Robert Menzies : — 

"Edinburgh, 12 October 1689. To the Laird of Weem, younger, captain of 
an independent company and commander of the Castles of Weem and Miggernie. 
Replies to two letters of the Laird of Weem, General Mackay says — ' Tis no 
matter what Glenlyon says bout the fitness of the house of Miggernie for a 
garrison.' He is satisfied with the statement of the Laird of Weem that it was 
so. Glenlyon grumbled because he was not placed in trust of the house himself. 
He desires Weem to obtain shure intelligence out of the Highlands, and for that 
end to dispose of some persons who are not suspected to them, as some of those 
of Strowen's men had not accepted the act of indemnity. Mackay intends to 
bring their case before the Council at its next meeting, and wishes Weem to give 
them some assurance that they should not be troubled. Weem could obtain 
intelligence from the north earlier than himself, and from Lochaber earlier than 
those at Inverness. Mackay was to order the commissary to let Weem have what 
meal he requires, but the less the better, except he transports it himself, for they 
must furnish the whole garrison of Blair with meal for the winter, that not being 
able to furnish any. ' That hous of Braid Albin's may be burnt by consent, 
otherwyse he will resent and shew his dislyk of it, which time will let us see. 
Ther is no great mater for vs, because wee had no desseyn upon it.' Weem's 
outlay shall be repaid by the Government. In a postscript, he writes to Weem to 
inform Captain Rollo that he approves of his 'way of doeing,' and intimates that 
the Council should issue an order that 'a good kow be sold at 19 merks and a 
weather at 2^ merks.' He asks Weem to get the prices of meal, barley, malt, 


butter, and cheese ' adjusted.' He had also written to the Earl of Breadalbine on 
these matters." — Charter Room, Castle Menzies, No. 143. 

Notwithstanding that Mackay had given Campbell of Glenlyon to under- 
stand that he would not be interfered with in his position by any greedy, grasping 
man like him, Campbell waited till the next meeting of Scottish Parliament, 
when he made a great row in the house about Meggernie Castle being under the 
command of Captain Robert Menzies, the young chief of Clan Menzies, of 
which General Mackay wrote him, giving the following description : — 

"Edinburgh, 1 November 1689. General Mackay to Meingeis, the Laird 

of Weem. — Stateing that Weems' news was the same as he had from other quarters, 
and desiring him to ' name a soume for what you have been out of pours vpon 
inteligence,' and he shall get it allowed. He had also obliged the master of Forbes 
to do the same, Government being unwilling to allow sums of itself. He proceeds, 
' I wish ther were lesse heats and more true tendernesse for the commun safty of 
all syds then ther is. I have my full of Scotland, and wish their Majesties' service 
may require my return hither againe, if it please God I be ons out of it. The 
President of the session is cum down, and this day they had a full hous. 
Glenlyon made a great busle here concerning Miggernie, but I dispach'd him with 
a short answer, that I juged the disposition allready made most contributing to 
the king's service, and therefor doe not find good to alter. The subject of his 
jealousie of yow is, that he beleeves yow to favour the Marques of Athol's intrest 
against him too much. I told him I took no notice of thier familay disputes, but 
did what I thought best for the forsaid end. Pray let him have no relevant occasion 
of complaint against the garrison." — Charter Room, Castle Menzies, No. 144. 

General Mackay had also a very low estimate of Campbell of Breadalbane, 
of whom he said he was " one of the chiefest and cunningest fomenters of the 
troble of that kingdom, ' Scotland,' not for love of King James but to make 
himself necessary to the Government." — Memoirs, p. 72. 

Mackay, thus mistrusting him, sent to the young chief of the Menzies' to send 
all the necessary utensils to erect a palisade at Finlarig. The general's letter is as 
follows : — 

"Edinburgh, 4 Dec. 1689. General Mackay 'orders' Commander Robert 
Meingeis to send from his house of Weem to Finlarig for planting 'palisados,' 
one dozen 'speads,' one dozen 'shuffells,' and one dozen mattocks." — Charter 
Room, Castle Menzies, No. 145. 

As one of the Highland chiefs whom he could trust and rely upon, he asks 
him to arrange with some one who could be trusted to inform him of the motions 
of the enemy. Mackay's letter is as follows :— 

"Edinburgh, 18 Dec. 1689. 'General Mackay' to Commander Robert 
Meingeis of Menzies, ' Asks the Laird of Weem, younger, to get some person he 

332 THE "RED &- WHITE'' BOOK OF MENZIES. [a.d. 1689-1690. 

can trust belonging to the enemy to furnish timely intellegence of what might be 
resolved at their meetings. Mackay shall pay for what he shall ingage for, and 
the King will order his other disbursements."' — Charter Room, Castle Menzies, 
No. 146. 

This was brought about by many of those radical and extreme people who 
had caused the Revolution with the object of personal gain, and who, being 
disappointed at not having realised their expectations, were now opening 
negotiations with those who were on the side of King James, upon whom 
Mackay saw it was necessary to keep a watch. 

After the old Menzies Castle of Finlarig had been fitted up by Commander 
Menzies with the palisade and other outworks, to resist any attack on the troops, 
numbering 200 — these had been stationed there owing to the suspicions and 
double-dealing of Campbell of Breadalbane, although he had taken the oath and 
found bail for his allegiance, all of which he broke afterwards — Mackay saw that 
a troop of horsemen would be of great service to Commander Menzies to scour 
Strath Tay and keep an eye on the crafty Breadalbane. He thus gives the young 
chief his instructions as to how he wants him to act with them : — 

" Edinburgh, 24 December 1689. General Mackay to the Laird of Weem, 
younger : — Desires him to lodge out of danger of surprisal the corporal and 
10 horsemen of Lord Newbotle's troop whom he had ordered to Weem, and also 
to ' make credit for them,' as all the forces were then living on credit. Which is 
regular intellegence out of Lochaber from time to time. ' You must not fattigue 
the hors with guards, neither shall you send them in partys further than the Strath 
and in plaine ground.'" — Charter Room, Castle Menzies, No. 147. 

The military duties of Commander Menzies were so well discharged that the 
Strath was kept in safety from the enemy. We next find the young chief recorded 
in the Parliamentary Rolls, as having sat in the Scottish Parliament of 18th May 
1690. The entry runs thus : — 

" Robert Meinzies, younger of that Ilk, sat in the Parliament of William and 
Mary held at Edinburgh, iSth May 1690, commissioner for the shire of Perth." 

Colonel James Menzies of Culdares, Meggernie Castle, and Glenlyon also sat 
in this Parliament, and in the Parliament following it, held at Edinburgh, 10th 
June 1690, as commissioner for Perthshire. 

It would appear that General Mackay had been instructed by the Government 
to appoint Captain Menzies, the young chief, to the second command of the 
garrison and fort of Inverlochy ; but at this time he seems to have been influenced 
otherwise. His reasons were as follow : — 

" I confess I am no admirer of a devotion which doth not teach men their 
relative duty according to their vocation. I leave here also betwixt 4 and 500 
men of Grant's regement with some Highlanders. I can not resolve to give the 


second command to the Laird of Weemb (Captain Robert Menzies) so long as 
Fulerton shall be here, though I know he might be very servicable to the Garison, 
both to his inteligence and credit, and that there is not the least absurditie in the 
thing, it being very practicable in all countries ; but many men pretend to know 
that understand very little." 

Fulerton was the cause of the change of mind in the general, but Mackay 
soon altered his opinion when he found Captain Menzies unchanged towards him, 
firmly maintaining his reputation as a man of sterling ability, and highly worthy 
of the post. 

Stewart of Appin was John Stewart, the leader of the Clan " Stewart " on the 
occasion of the rising of 1689. He was a brave and skilful commander. He took 
the Castle of Eilean Stailkair, and held it for King James against the forces of 
Argyle till October 1690, when he capitulated on very honourable terms. Colonel 
Hill, governor of Inverlochy, writing in May 1690 to Governor Robert Menzies, 
the young laird of Weem, enjoins him " to be strict with the tutor of Appin, as 
he might be apt to be blowne up with stories, and might think to stand out still." — 
Scot. Hist. Soc, p. 143, vol. iii. 

The skirmish which took place between the Highlanders and the Government 
troops under Livingstone at Cromdale, where the Highlanders were surprised and 
suffered considerable loss, perfectly elated the friends of the Government. It 
was the finishing touch which decided the building of Fort William, and brought 
about the expedition to Inverlochy by General Mackay, who marched from Perth, 
on the 1 8th June 1690, at the head of 3000 men, horse and foot ; and on his march 
northwards he was joined by the young chief, Captain Robert Menzies, and his 
company of Menzies' Highlanders. The army arrived, 3rd July 1690, at Inver- 
lochy, and commenced work, 5th July 1690, and finished the outer wall at its full 
height, 20 feet from the bottom of the fosse, and palisaded round, all being 
completed on the 1 6th, on which day the young chief was made Lieutenant- 
Governor, and received the following commission : — 

"Fort William or Inverlochie, 16 July 1690." From General Mackay. — 
The commission of Robert Menzies of Weem to be Lieutenant-Governor of Fort 
William not having yet come down from His Majesty, and the service requiring 
that he be presently put in exercise of his said office : Therefor Mackay appoints 
him Lieutenant-Governor of the fort and garrison of Fort William, formerly called 
the Fort of Inverlochie." — Charter Room, Castle Menzies, No. 151. 

Shortly after the defensive works of Fort William had been put in such a 
forward state that they were a protection to the army, Mackay received a despatch 
from the Government calling upon him to return south with as large a portion 
of his army as possible, as an invasion was threatened by France. The general 
departed, leaving 1000 men in garrison of the new fort under command of the 

334 THE "RED &> WHITE" BOOK OF MENZIES. [a.d. 1690. 

young chief, Captain Robert Menzies the Lieutenant-Governor, who, with his 
100 Highlanders, had already given great assistance in raising the wall and 
palisade, and he had instructions to push on the completion of the works in 
the absence of General Mackay. 

During the absence of Mackay in the south, the northern parts of the High- 
lands of Inverness-shire, Ross-shire, and Aberdeenshire were up for King James. 
As no French invasion took place, Mackay returned and once more took command 
of the army. He marched to the north, where, after some successful skirmishes 
in the open field, he began to get the upper hand, with the exception of the 
Western Islands and Highlands, always difficult of access, where many of the clans 
were still out and might make a last bold attempt on Inverlochy. The general, 
therefore, wrote the Lieutenant-Governor, Captain Robert Menzies, instructing 
him with Clan Menzies to occupy Fort William. The letter reads as follows : — 

"The camp at Inverlochie, 17th June 1690. To Robert Menzies of Weem, 
captain of a company of foot, and Lieutenant-Governor of Fort William in Inver- 
lochie : Orders him on sight hereof to remove with his company from the camp to 
Fort William [alias of Inverlochy), there to remain in garrison and receive further 
orders from Colonel John Hill, Governor thereof." — Charter Room, Castle Menzies, 
No. 148. 

Following this, the apprehensions of General Mackay began to be raised by 
the action of some of the Highlanders further south. He sent for the young 
chief and his 100 faithful Highlanders of Clan Me